I’m exhausted. Have been for ages. I honestly don’t know how I make it through the days. I just keep at it, day in, day out. I’m like a robot, just fulfilling my programming. I can’t not continue. It’s Friday, I’ll have a couple days to recharge before heading into the fray again.
In my exhausted state, as I drive, I feel a pain in my head. I cock my head to one side in an attempt to vanquish the pain while still keeping the car on the road. As I do so, I drift off slightly. This road, this drive, it’s all automatic, my mind uses the idle cycles to show me something new.
Number: 37 Name: The Giant Zelkova of Atago Shrine (愛宕神社のケヤキ) Type: Zelkowa serrata Height: 16m Trunk Circumference: 7.0m Age: 633 years Location: 栃木県小山市宮本町１丁目 (36° 18′ 47″N 139° 47′ 59″E) Date of Visit: 2012-7-28
In Kouryaku 1 (康暦元年, 1379 CE [but this is a Northern/Southern Period thing, so if you prefer the Southern Court in this period because they were in possession of the regalia, this year may make you ragey, but do get over it, yes?]) Oyama Yoshimasa (小山義政), who was then the ruler of Shimotsuke Province, established Atago Shrine to pray for the safety of his people and for good harvests. It is said that the Sacred Tree which was planted at that time is this tree.
There’s a bit of damage near the top that’s been capped off with steel. This seems to have happened in a large fire in Taisho 2 (大正２年, 1913 CE). The entire top burned off, and all the growth above it is due to the branching that happened after that.
Here in Miyamoto-cho and also in Hongo-cho there are Atago Shrines, and both of them have giant zelkovas.