echigonagaoka> Sado Island> Yajima-Kyojima IslandsKaicho Temple
Get off the #11 bus (Shukunegi-sen) at "Yajima Iriguchi" bus stop or "Yajima Yuen Mae" bus stop. Since the #11 route has only a few buses, you may choose walking from Ogi town or getting on a taxi. From "Yajima Iriguchi" bus stop, refer to the photo 43.1 on the previous page for Kaicho Temple. Pass by the Kaicho temple and go down the road until the end. The next bus stop "Yajima Yuuen Mae" is also good to visit Yajima-Kyojima. "Yajima Yuuen Mae" is on the west side of a bridge crossing the valley. Also go down the road until the end.
Photo.44.1 Yajima-Kyojima and Tub Boat
As shown in Photo.44.1, you can get on a tub boat. This website does not know how much it is. Yajima means "Arrow Island". The island was well known for high quality of bamboo which was suitable for making arrows. A legend says Minamoto no Yorimasa (1104?/5? - 1180) used an arrow that was made of bamboo of Yajima when he shut an animal 'Nue'. Nue is an imaginary animal whose head is monkey, body is raccoon dog, hands and legs are tiger, and tail is sneak1).
Photo.44.2 Yahiko Mountain through the Red arch bridge
There is a stone monument of "Omitsu no Hi" on Kyojima (Kyo Island). Omitsu is the main character of a love story "Sado Jowa" that is quite absurd. She was a daughter of fisherman in Sado. She fell in love with a guy who was a ship carpenter coming from the main land. When his job was over, he went back to Kashiwazaki where his house was. Saddened Omitsu decided to go there by a tub boat which was usually used for night fishing. The guy was happy about that first, but over time, he, who had wife and children, became frightened with Omitsu. She came every night over the sea! One night he put out fire of the lighthouse that Omitsu used as a target to come to Kashiwazaki. What he saw in the next morning was Omitsu's body washed ashore. The guy terribly felt remorse and committed suicide by throwing himself into the sea2). It is a sheer nonsense to cross the sea by tub boat for 60 kilometer every night. But there must have been a real tragic love in old times between Sado Island and the main land.
Photo.44.3 Stone Monument of "Omitsu"
It takes about 30 minutes to walk from Yajima-Kyojima islands to the town of Ogi. This estimation assumes distance of 2.2 kilometer (1.4 mile) on the route passing by Kaicho Temple. Let’s look at the town of Ogi3). Before Edo Era (1603 ? 1867), the town was located at area of Kaicho Temple. In early 17th century, Then-Sado Magistrate, Takemura Kurou Uemon made Ogi a place for transit of gold. On the way from Aikawa to Edo, gold was stored in Kizaki Shrine in Ogi for a while. It was to wait for a good timing to carry the gold to the main land. In 1672, Ogi became a port of call of rice transportation that came from Dewa that was under the direct control of the Samurai government "Edo Bakufu". Rice from Dewa stopped at Ogi, went around western part of Honshu Island of Japan, and then arrived at Osaka4). This ship trade made Ogi the biggest port in Sado.
There are two bays on both side of sandbar in Ogi. East bay is called 'Outer bay (Soto-no-ma)', west bay is called 'Inner bay (Uchi-no-ma)'. Water in the Inner bay becomes rough by southern wind but it is calm when northeast wind blows. On the other, water in the outer bay becomes rough by north and east wind but it is calm when south and west winds blow. It was thought that connecting the Inner and the outer bays could bring much safety for the ships. Sado Magistrate Office ordered excavation work in 1672. The watercourse of 15 meter width was made by human labor equivalent to 2,667 persons5). But a dispute among Ogi people was raised about the effects of watercourse. It resulted in filling in 17166). But that couldn’t be the end of the story. When a typhoon hit, people required the watercourse for safety. When the free trade of Sado products was allowed in Houreki Era (1751-1764), it necessitated the watercourse in order to facilitate ship trade. Once-there-but-filled watercourse was again constructed in 1788. Unfortunately it was short lived because the earthquake in 1803 lifted the ground 1 meter (3ft) up7).
After Meiji Era started in 1867, Ogi port had got severe influences by changes of the time. Commodity’s flow in-and-out Ogi port changed much. Rice transportation from lands of samurai government ended. Goods of other part of Japan were no longer gathered to Ogi. Steamboats took places of traditional Japanese sailboats8). Over time the function as a gateway of Ogi port had moved to Ryotsu port.