Ohara (Kyoto City) (大原 (京都市))

Ohara (the kanji used is 大原 which is pronounced as O-o-ha-ra or O-ha-ra) is the name of a small-scale basin located in the upstream region of Takano-gawa River (Kyoto City) at the western foot of Mt. Hiei in the northeastern part of Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City. The name '大原' was pronounced 'O-ha-ra' in ancient times and was also written as 小原. Ohara used to belong to Otagi District, Yamashiro Province and was also called 'Yase Ohara' in combination with Yase which neighbored Ohara to its south.

Ohara flourished as a relay exchange point on the Wakasa Kaido Road which connected Heian-kyo (Kyoto) and Wakasa Bay. Since Ohara was close to the Enryaku-ji Temple, many temples of Tendai sect such as Shorin-in Temple and Raigo-in Temple (Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City), Sanzen-in Temple, Jakko-in Temple, etc. were built.

Ohara was also used as an escape route from Kyoto in times of war and political strife, and since ancient times was also known as a place at which to enter the Buddhist priesthood or to retire from the society. Ohara is known as the place where individuals who included Imperial Prince Koretaka, Kenreimonin but also brothers of Jakunen, Jakucho and Jakuzen who were called the Ohara no Sanjaku (or Tokiwa no Sanjaku), FUJIWARA no Akinobu, Saigyo and KAMO no Chomei retired from the world.

After the middle ages, Ohara was known as a place where firewood and charcoal were produced, and Oharame (the women of Ohara), who were as highly regarded as Shirakawame (women from Kita-Shirakawa who sell flowers) and Katsurame (women from Katsura, Kyoto city), with their unique clothing would walk to Kyoto to sell this firewood and charcoal. Ohara subsequently also became known for special products such as shibazuke (salted chopped pickled vegetables), tea and wheat flour.

During the early-modern period, Ohara-go Township consisted of 12 villages, but in 1883 the eight central villages merged to form the village of 'Ohara-mura,' and when the city-town-village system was enacted in 1889 the remaining four villages merged to form Ohara Village, Otagi District. At that time, the 12 former villages continued as settlements and Kochidani subsequently separated to form a 13th settlement.

In 1949, Ohara Village was incorporated into Kyoto City's Sakyo Ward, and the 13 settlements were each designated koaza (small administrative unit of a village) named 'Ohara XX-cho.'

[Original Japanese]