History & Culture

Japanese Oldest Night Lamp‘ Johyatoh ’and Restoration Freight Vessel ‘Kitamae-Bune’ named Michinoku-Maru 日本最古の常夜燈と復元された北前船「みちのく丸」

by K.Yamauchi

On April 29, 2018, a restoration freight vessel, ‘Kitamae-Bune’, named Michinoku-Maru was returned to the ‘Johyatoh Park ‘in Nohejimachi after being repaired. 32m of the total length, 8.5m of the total width, 100t of the weight and 28m high of the mast. This vessel will have been exhibited in this Johyatoh Park for a couple of years.

4月29日復元された北前船「みちのく丸」が修理を終え、野辺地町にある常夜燈公園に設置された。全長32m、全幅8.5m、重量 100t 帆柱の高さ28m。これから施設が完成する3~4年間野辺地常夜燈公園に展示される。

Kitamaebune – Northern-bound ship

This night lamp exists as the oldest light stand in Japan. Nohejimachi, the town, prospered as a port of the Japan Sea route connecting Osaka and Ezo (Hokkaido), which was the main goods transportation during the Edo period. This All-Night Lamp had been watching ships going to Noheji Port as a lighthouse to protect navigation safety.

常夜燈は、文政10年(1827)、野辺地の廻船問屋野村治三郎によって建てられた。正面には、「常夜燈の文字」、裏面には、航行の安全を見守る海の神として信仰を集める四国の「金毘羅大権現 」の文字。 使われている石材は、広島、本島など産の青木石。広島の近くの香川県丸亀市は、金毘羅参りの拠点で石工の燈籠作りが盛んであった。野辺地の常夜灯は、丸亀で作られ、運ばれてきたものである。常夜灯は、青森県と香川県、遠く離れたこの二つの地を海で繋いだ船乗り達の歴史のロマンでもある。

The Japan Sea route connecting Osaka and Ezo (Hokkaido), which was the key transport artery of goods transportation during the Edo period.

Description of the JOUYATOU


Rapeseed oil was used for lighting.
This Night Light was built by a vessel wholesaler, Jisaburo Nomura in Noheji in Bunsei era (1827). On the front the character of “All-Night Lamp”, on the reverse side, the character of “Kompira Daigonge”, means of Shikoku attracts faith as a god of the sea watching the safety of navigation. The stones used are Aoki stone produced by Hiroshima, Mainland etc. Marugame City, Kagawa Prefecture near Hiroshima, was a base for Kompira worship and making lanterns by stonemasons was flourished. The night lamp of Nohejimachi was produced in Marugame and carried to the current place. This All-Night light is also a romance of the history of seafarers that connected these two distant places by the sea, Aomori prefecture and Kagawa prefecture.


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