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Shukunegi Village

How to get

Get on a #11 bus (Shukunegi-sen) at Ogi and get off it at "Shukunegi" bus stop. This is a famous tourist destination; you will not miss where you get off the bus.

Photo.47.1 Triangle House in Shukunegi Villege

Shukunegi had been a port since medieval time. One of the oldest records was a document in 1295, which reads judgment about territory dispute between two strong men1) . The castle of one of two was assumed to be built in 12632). In 1355, Ji-shu head priest Tosen-shonin the 8th came from Naoetsu to Shukunegi for propagation of Ji-shu Buddhism. The discipline center of the sect had already been established there when he came. There is a Hakusan Shrine as village's guardian whose establishment was in 1304. These things mean that Shukunegi village had already been there at latest in 13th century3).

In 18th century, middle of Edo era, shipping trade became a big industry. The ships "Kitamaebune" went to Hokkaido where was prospering with herring fishing. The ships delivered commodities, loaded sea products and timbers, bought rice on the way, went west to reach Osaka area. This kind of trade on the western sea route was called "Buy and Load". It made a huge profit by the price gaps between the different regions. Since Shukunegi was near to the Ogi Port, the village became a base of shipbuilders. Many shipwrights and artisans lived and made the village4).

The first ship that was built in Shukunegi was Daigokumaru in 1767. The ship's loading capacity was 0.28x250m35). Tourist can see the real size model of Hakusanmaru in the Pavillion in Ogi Museum. The length is 23.75 meter6). The original Hakusanmaru was built in 1774. Its loading capacity was 0.28x374m37). Those cargo ships were used until 19th century. During Meiji era, Ryotsu Port had become the main port of Sado Island. Shipping trade of Ogi and Shukunegi had declined8). One book explains the reason of declining from different point of view; In Maiji era, steamships became the majority. Train started running on the ground. And development of telegraph communication brought unified prices of commodities. Since shipping trade relied on price gaps between the different regions, such leveled prices reduced the source of benefit9).

Shukunegi village itself was designated as an important architecture heritage area by the nation in 1991. The buildings of the village are opened to tourists10). Walking on a narrow alley between the houses is fun like exploring in a maze. As shown in photo.47.1, the house of triangle shape is a good subject of photographing for tourists.

Traditional performance in Shukunegi is "Chitochinton" that is played in annual festival of Togami Shrine on October 15th. Guy "Chitochin" holding an exaggerated symbol of man and lady "Ton" holding "Sasara" comically dance with music of pipes and sounds of drums. Although this dance had not been played for a while, it was resumed in 197111).

The deepest location of the village is Shoko Temple as shown in Photo.47.2

Photo.47.2 Shoko Temple at the deepest place of Shukunegi Village