Tsuruga was a town where wealth had been concentrated since ancient times. It was the overseas gateway of the Imperial court, through which Chinese ships laden with goods visited and traded. Tsuruga was the setting for Ryunosuke Akutagawa’s famous novel “Imogayu” (Sweet-Potato Broth). In the Edo period, the town prospered as a harbor port to transport goods from the Hokuriku and Tohoku districts to the capital. Subsequently, when the westward route improved, the amount of goods traded with Ezo (Hokkaido) increased sharply. There was a significant increase in the volume of herring that was traded.
Tsuruga City, Fukui
Cultural Properties of Tsuruga City
Nishin-gura (Herring Storehouse)
In the Edo period, this was a large-scale dozo (a storehouse with thick mortar walls) for storing herring that was transported by Kitamae-bune from Ezo.
The Suzaki Lighthouse
The oldest stone lighthouse along the Japan Sea coast. It was built in 1802 as a marker for Kitamae-bune entering and leaving Tsuruga-minato (Tsuruga Port).
Original Head Office of the Former Owada Bank
The headquarters of the Owada Bank, established in 1892 by Mr Shoshichi Owada. He was a Kaisen-donya - a wholesale merchant in the port - who made a fortune through Kitamae-bune.
Hikita Funakawa River
The remains of a canal that was developed in 1815 to transport cargo via Kitamae-bune using the water transportation of Lake Biwa.
The Manual Shaving Processing Technology of Konbu (kelp)
The Processing Technology of Konbu carried by Kitamae-bune.
Votive goods of the Jogu Shrine
Stone lanterns and hand basins that many Kitamae-bune shipowners including Gonzaemon Ukon of Echizen-Konoura, dedicated to prayer for the safety of voyages
Hengaku on the torii of the Kehi Jingu Shrine
A hengaku on the big torii of the Kehi Jingu Shrine of Hokuriku Sochinju (the Grand Guardian Gods), that dedicated by Shichihei Oie, Segoe, Kaga, who made a fortune as Kitamae-bune shipowner
Senchu Okite Kokoroesho (handbook of rules on the ship)
It was written by Kichibei Tateishi, Kitamae-bune shipowner in Tsuruga. It is described such as the rules to be observed by boatmen and sailors, and the reverence for the guardian of ships, the Funadama-Myojin.
Yama (floats) for festival of the Kehi Jingu Shrine
A yama pulled by influential people In Tsuruga, Including Kitamae-bune shipowners, for the festival of the Kehi Jingu Shrine. There is also a record that dozens of yama were pulled during the Edo period and it shows prosperous of Tsuruga-Minato.