In the old days, the former village of Kono-mura flourished in the shipping trade between Takefu in Echizen Province and Tsuruga. It was the center for goods being transported to Kyo (currently Kyoto). Kono-mura was “a village living with the sea” located near the entrance of Tsuruga Bay, at the southern tip of the Echizen Coast. In the village’s “Kono Kitamae Senshu (shipowners) Street,” as the name suggests, the residences of one of the five greatest shipowners who had are lined up in a row. These included the Ukon family’s large residence. This family was one of the five most successful shipowners of the Hokuriku District. There is also the Nakamura family house, which is now an important national cultural property, and others.
Minami Echizen Town, Fukui
Cultural Properties of Minami Echizen Town
The Ukon Family House
A large house that belonged to the family of Gonzaemon Ukon. He was a Kitamae-bune shipowner and one of the five major shipowners along the Japan Sea.
The Former Ukon Family Villa - Seiyokan (Western Style House)
This is the villa of Gonzaemon Ukon, who was a Kitamae-bune shipowner and one of the five major shipowners along the Japan Sea. It is built on a hill directly behind the Ukon family's principal residence.
The Nakamura Family House
The large house of Sannojo Nakamura, who was one of the leading Kitamae-bune shipowners of the Hokuriku District. In the Edo period, it also served as an inn for the Kaikoku-Junkenshi (traveling inspectors sent by the Shogun).
Ema (a small, wooden plaque on which prayers, wishes and dedications are written) depicting the ship Jinkeimaru
This is an ema (a wooden wish/prayer plaque) depicting the ship Jinkeimaru. The dedication is to the Hachiman Shrine in Kono. The Jinkeimaru was owned by the Ukon family who were Kitamae-bune shipowners. The Sumiyoshi Shrine and lighthouse are shown in the background. It is a rarity among ema in Japan.