In Noshiro, located in the Yoneshiro River Estuary, gold, silver, copper, wood and rice from the basin were carried out and it flourished as a trading area. In particular, the Akita cedar gained attention. Sanesue Akita, a lord of the land, sent a ship full of Akita cedar for the construction of a big Atake-bune which Hideyoshi Toyotomi used to cross to the Korean peninsula in 1593. For the contruction of Fushimi Castle, an even larger amount of Akita cedar was required, and it was called Taiko (the father of the Imperial adviser) board. Noshiro’s amount of production increased with the times, and it was called the best “city of wood” in the East.
Cultural Properties of Noshiro City
A Holy Lantern of Hachiman Shrine
A holy lantern built by the small-cargo vessel wholesalers in Osaka, who made their wealth through trading with Kitamae-bune.
Hiyoriyama (Directional Stone of Hiyoriyama)
A place where the sailors of Kitamae-bune forecast the weather before departing. The second oldest directional stone in Japan also exists here.
Kokyuji Temple (the mill-stone tomb)
A memorial monument to Nizo Kamiya who was a boatman of Kitamae-bune in Shiwakujima of Seto Inland Sea. He served rice in Noshiro during the great hunger of the Tenpo period and then opened a soba restaurant.
Funa-ema of Ebisu Shrine
Funa-ema votives that shipowners of Kitamae-bune dedicated.
Noshiro Funauta (sailor’s song)
Funauta which originate from "Izumo-bushi," a song from the Shimane area introduced by Kitamae-bune.
It originates from a dance by Kitamae-bune sailors who drew faces on their bellies. It is said that the kites were also used as an alternative to lighthouses for Kitamae-bune.