Ouchi-juku lying along Aizu West Road is a small village nestled among lofty mountains that once flourished as post town in the Edo period.
The main road through this village was called Aizu West Road or Shimotsuke Road which played an important role in connecting Aizu Wakamatsu,a castle town in Fukushima Prefecture,and Imaichi in Tochigi Prefecture.
Many thousands straw rice sacks and commodities were cared overland along this road.
Also,the great number of feudal lords and their procession attendants as well as travelers passing through used to rest them selves here.
When the Boshin Civil War broke out in 1868,this post town turned into a raging battlefield.
The Boshin Civil War is particularly popular for the young Byakkotai or White Tiger Company warriors of 16 or 17 years.
These soldiers,in an attempt to come to the aid of their load,found their castle itself was not burning and battle actually raged on for another month before all were killed or took their own lives.
In 1884 after the Meiji Restoration,National Highway 121 was constructed far to the east.
As the new highway took the burden of travelers,the old town and its names Ouchi-juku slipped from memory.
Ouchi-juku is also a legendary place.
Prince Mochihito Takakura,the second son of Emperor Goshirakawa,rose in arms against the Heike Clab that enjoyed the highest prosperity at the time,He was from the clan's puirsuit,fled all the way from the capital to this hamlet and went into hiding.
Hange Festival on July 2 is celebrated to enshrine Prince Mochihito Yakakura.
The traditional style Togyo Parade held on this day every year has remained the same hundreds of years.
Hange Summer Festival
This festival is annually held on July 2.
It was held earlier,however,on May 19,the anniversary of Prince Takakura's death.
This shrine is dedicated to the tragic Prince Mochihito Takakura who failed to succeed as emperor because the Heike Clan checked his advance.
Princess Sakuragi accompanied Prince Takakura's wife on a long journey to escape from the Hike Clan.
She passed away here at Osobahara at the age of 18.
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