Aizu: Land of the Last Samurai *RERUN
Aizu is roughly 300 kilometers north of Tokyo. It is a region west of Fukushima Prefecture. Around 150 years ago, Aizu was defeated in a civil war, beginning a road of hardship. The skills to survive a tough environment and to care for others thrive in Aizu. From parents to children, from predecessors to successors, the pride of Aizu is passed down. Fondness for lords long-gone still remains in people's hearts. This is a story of Aizu, where the spirit of samurai from ages ago still lives on.

Tsuruga Castle

Tsuruga Castle, symbol of the spirit of Aizu. With this castle at its center, Aizu began to thrive in the middle of the 17th century. When Aizu was under the reign of the 9th-generation lord of the castle, Katamori Matsudaira, a great political upheaval was taking place in Japan. The Tokugawa clan, ruling as the shoguns of Japan, had weakened, and a new government emerged. Aizu had to decide whether it would side with the Tokugawa clan or with the new government. They decided to fight against the new government. This was because they could not throw away their loyalty to the Tokugawa clan as samurai.

Aizu's Lucky Charm

Aizu's lucky charm for the New Year, the "okiagari koboshi." One for each member of the family, plus another one, are set on the household Shinto altar. They symbolize the spirit of Aizu - always getting back up no matter how many times they're knocked down.

The Pole Sword

In Aizu, young women also went to fight on the battlefield. This was because the daughters of samurai families had taken martial arts as part of their lessons. In front of the monument for the women who died in the Aizu War, the members of the Aoi High School Pole Sword Club offer up a dance. They convey their feelings to those women who lived so proudly. "Jin." A compassionate and forgiving heart.