The townscape of Mikuni-minato (Mikuni Port) was established in the Edo period when it prospered as a port of call for Kitamae-bune. Its unique, old port town atmosphere remains strong. The town developed greatly along the Kuzuryu River, with small-cargo vessel wholesalers who owned Kitamae-bune, a townhouse, a trading house, a storehouse, and an entertainment district. The townscape’s atmosphere, such as town houses with rows of grid doors, and historical buildings with traces of the great merchants, remains in Mikuni-minato. The port is also famous for being the first to introduce Dutch civil engineering technology to the waters of Japan through the engineer Escher.
Sakai City, Fukui
Cultural Properties of Sakai City
Former Kishina Family House
A house of the lumber dealer Sosuke Shinpoya (The Kishina Family), who made their wealth through Kitamae-bune.
Uoshiro (The Matsuzaki Family House)
This restaurant located in a hanamachi (entertainment district) was used by Kitamae-bune shipowners and merchants.
A group of structures dedicated by local leaders of the Shinpo District, using their wealth acquired through Kitamae-bune trading. The area produced many shipowners of Kitamae-bune.
Mikuni Shrine Zuijinmon (shrine gates)
This is a tower gate that was donated by the townsmen, who were also powerful Kitamae-bune ship owners when Mikuni-minato reached its peak in Kitamae-bune trade, from the late Edo period to the early Meiji period.
A main shrine that prayed for marine safety of Kitamae-bune and a stone structure dedicated by the shipowners of Kitamae-bune.
Oshima, where the shrine is located, has been revered by Kitamae-bune shipowners as an island where gods dwell. The shrine has been devotedly worshiped by sailors since ancient times. A directional stone remains.
Mikuni Port (formerly Sakai Port) jetty
A Western-style jetty built at the mouth of the Kuzuryu River to diminish the barrier for entering and leaving Kitamae-bune.
A place where Kitame-bune sailors forecast the weather before departing.
Series of old documents on Kitamae-bune
A group of ancient documents about the shipping business conveyed to the shipowners of Kitamae-bune and wealthy merchants who made their wealth through Kitamae-bune.
Series of Funa-ema of Kitamae-bune
A group of funa-ema on which Kitamae-bune shipowners drew their own ships and dedicated to a shrine to pray for maritime safety.
A picture of Mikuniura
A picture that shows the prosperous state of Mikuni-minato, thanks to Kitamae-bune.
Echizen Mikuni-minato landscape view
A picture depicting the prosperous state of Mikuni-minato, thanks to Kitamae-bune.
Mikuni Butudan (Buddhist altar)
This is a craft from the Mikuni-minato area, which was transported to the shipowner's village Kagahashitate and others by Kitamae-bune.
Old documents relating to Shakudani Stone
Old documents relating to Shakudani Stone, which was distributed by Kitamae-bune. The documents were handed down by a small-cargo vessel wholesaler who had been dealing with the stone.
Mikuni Shrine Reitaisai (Mikuni festival) and festival float carts
A festival where townspeople, who were also powerful boat masters of Mikuni-minato and prospered through trade with Kitamae-bune, dedicated festival float carts, dolls, and boat-shaped portable shrines.
Nanboya dance song
A song that was transmitted from the southern region by sailors of Kitamae-bune.
The celabrating song of Kitamae-bune boatman and sailors. It was sung at the ceremony to worship the Funadama (guardian deity of a ship).
A party song in Mikuni that is said to have originated from a Kitamae-bune boatman song.