The Seto Ohashi Bridge 瀬戸大橋

The Seto Ohashi Bridge is the world's longest two-tiered bridge system that stretches 13.1 km from Kurashiki, Okayama, to Sakaide, Kagawa, connecting the 5 islands in between. The 11 bridges in the system include 3 suspension bridges, 1 twin cable-stayed, 2 truss and 5 viaducts.

The upper level accommodates a motor expressway of 4 lanes, and the lower contains at present a railway system for a dual track ordinary line and for a dual track superexpress line in the future.

Both cars and trains take about 20 minutes to cross the Bridge. A ferry would take an hour or more to cross the sea. It is so designed as to withstand violent typhoons and severe earthquakes.

The height of the elevated road of the North and South Bisan-Seto Bridges is 93 m above sea level. Even on a foggy day, traveling along the Bridge is very safe, because there is little fog at that height.

The concrete used was about 3,646,000 cubic meters. The steel weighs about 705,000 tons, enough to build 176 Tokyo Towers.

Workers had to scale the suspension towers, some as tall as 50 story buildings. They had to battle fierce winds as well as sea currents when they sank 12 caissons as deep as 50 m into the sea. Though nets, ropes and other safety measures were employed, 13 lives were last during the 10 years.

A mortar ship and floating derrick crane were specially designed to set the caissons and towers, with computers and lasers controlling all the construction.

A light fibre cable has been laid along the Bridge to cope with the increasing amount of communication.

It is a sister bridge of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

How the Seto Ohashi Bridge came into being:

1889 Okubo Jinnojo, a member of the Prefectural Parliament, suggested the idea.

1955 Dense fog caused a ferry to get wrecked off Takamatsu, taking 171 lives. The need for a bridge for a safer and permanent transportation route was keenly felt and discussed.

1959 The first meeting for promoting the bridge building was held.

1960 Scientific investigation started.

1970 The Honshu-Shikoku Bridge Construction Authority was inaugurated.

1973 The project was postponed by the "oil shock."

1978 The Environment Assessment was published. Building got started, costing $7 billion, participated in by more than 2,000 construction companies and about 13 million workers.

1988 The Bridge opened, with the Dodama-jishi guardian, 6.8 m. tall, in the Seto Ohashi Memorial Park in Sakaide.

Okubo Jinnojo 大久保じん之丞 (1849-1891)

The First to Air the Idea of a Seto Ohashi Bridge

Okubo Jinnojo was born is Saita, a remote village of West Sanuki, as the third son of a community-minded landlord. From childhood he had seen how hard it was for people and their horses, heavily loaded, to cross the barrier of mountains between Sanuki and Awa (Tokushima Pref.). The winding paths were narrow and treacherous.

At 23, Jinnojo became a village official. Then he had the idea of building roads through those mountains. He declared: "The 4 provinces of Shikoku are like so many remote islands. If united by roads, they will be much better off, enjoying the benefits of increased transportation and easier communication with each other."

People laughed at him, saying it was just a dream. But he was not discouraged. He simply began with what he could do by himself - building 7 bridges in the village, planting hundreds of pine trees to get wood, constructing a reservoir by employing hundreds of paupers in the village, bringing new varieties of cereals and vegetables to try out on their farms, introducing the silkworm-raising industry, sending poor children to school, and giving youth opportunities for higher education, including some who were sent to medical schools so that they might become doctors for the villagers.

His ambitions were not limited to his own village, his own province and his own island of Shikoku. He thought of sending immigrants to Hokkaido, which still remained uncultivated to a great extent. By 1890, hundreds of families from West Sanuki were already settled there with bright prospects of success.

His family had always supported him. It was a big family of like-minded progressives, consisting of his father and mother, his wife, his daughter and her husband, his younger brother and his wife. His eldest brother, a merchant, also helped him financially.

Meanwhile, Jinnojo was seeking a way to realize his old dream of building "Shikoku Shindo" or new roads to link the 4 provinces of Shikoku. He had already made a survey of a possible Tokushima-Kochi route. He brought his idea to more and more highly influential people until at last in 1886 the governors of Tokushima, Kochi and Ehime (Kagawa at that time had been incorporated into Ehime: 1876-1887) agreed to get the road construction started. Now he was 37.

There were many problems to be solved. Farmers, seeing their farms destroyed, were strongly against the project. Jinnojo came to talk with them again and again, telling them of the advantages the road would bring them in the future.

Another problem was money, It took greater expenditure than he had expected, because of increasing difficulties they had to face in opening Inohana Toge, the pass between Tokushima and Kagawa. Jinnojo had to give up all his estates and properties in order to make up the deficit, causing his family to live almost from hand to mouth.

4 years later, the New Sanuki Road (70 km) was completed. But he did not live to see the whole length of the New Shikoku Road (280 km) completed in 1894. He had died 3 years before, at the age of 42.

Years went by, and Jinnojo proved himself to be a man of foresight. The New Shikoku Roads, which later became National Highway No.32, have long been a vital artery of industry, transportation and communication is Shikoku.

Jinnojo had talked of bringing water from the River Yoshino in Tokushima to the Sanuki Plain by buiding a tunnel through Mt. Zozu. This dream of his did come true in 1980, when Kagawa Yosui, the Kagawa Canal came into existence.

In1889, he aired his idea of a Seto Ohashi Bridge in a congratulatory speech he made at the opening ceremony of the first railway in Shikoku between Marugame and Kotohira. As a member of the Prefectural Parliament, he had greatly contributed to its opening, too. His dream of bringing Shikoku and Honshu closer together was realized, just 100 years later, in 1988, when Kagawa Prefecture celebrated its centenary.

More surprisingly, he had foretold man's traveling to the moon in his favourite drinking song of his own composition, which went as follows:

I'll tell you, dear, don't laugh at me,
a hundred years from now, I'll be seeing you
flying to and from the moon in a space ship.
Its port, let me tell you, dear,
will be that mountaintop over there!

SAKAIDE 坂出 & its Vicinity

Sakaide, a sister city of Sausalito, Cal., USA, is the biggest trading port in Shikoku, dealing with about 34,700 cargo ships and tankers (24,272,500 tons) a year.

Until the 1960's it was known for the greatest salt production in Japan. Visiting Kamada Kyosai-kai Kyodo Hakubutsu-kan Museum 鎌田共済会郷土博物館 is like visiting Sakaide as it used to be. There are lots of interesting objects from the earliest salt-making pots (300 A.D.-600 A.D.) to the innovations in the 19th century by Kume Tsuken, the virtual founder of Sakaide as a Salt City

Now the times have changed. Modernization has brought a new complex in what used to be salt paddiesー a complex consisting of a power plant, an oil refinery, a shipyard, a foundry, a coke factory and a coal-tar pitch carbon fibre manufacturing plant - and now the terminal of the Seto Ohashi Bridge.

The industrial area is bordered with a park area. The Seto Ohashi Bridge Memorial Park 瀬戸大橋架橋記念公園 features the Dodama-jishi Monument as the guardian of the Bridge, the Memorial Hall and a large wooden-domed coliseum as an event plaza as well as a seafood restaurant and a rotating observation tower 132 m tall.

Bannosu Koen Park 番の州公園 is a sporting centre with a baseball ground, a playground and swimming pools equipped with modern facilities.

The Shami area was a site of an ancient civilization in Sanuki. Nakanda Beach opposite the Memorial Park is known for its excavations of stoneware and earthenware items of different periods, including salt-making ovens from the 4th century to the 7th century. Many of them are exhibited at Sakaide-shi Kyodo Shiryokan Museum 坂出市郷土資料館. Kakinomoto-no Hitomaro Monument on the same beach celebrates the poet's dedicating a dirge to a drowned sailor he found there among the rocks on the shore. Its beginning is often quoted even today in expressing the beauty of Sanuki:

Laced with pearly seaweed,
the Province of Sanuki is an eternal feast to the eye....

(玉藻よし讃岐の国は 国柄か見れども飽かぬ.....)

Tokiwa Koen Park 常磐公園  

Tokiwa Koen Park is a fine recreation centre on a green hill, commanding a view of the archipelago spanned by the Seto Ohashi Bridge to the north and the Sanuki Plain featuring Mt. Fuji of Sanuki to the south.

Shiogama-jinja Shrine 塩釜神社 on the eastern slope of the hill is dedicated to a sea god, Owatatsumi-no-mikoto, along with Kume Tsuken and his patron, Lord Matsudaira IX. It came into being in downtown Sakaide in 1826, when Tsuken prayed for success in his salt-making project.

This is also a select place for a Shinto-style wedding ceremony, for the Shiogama gods are believed to bring an easy delivery to female worshippers.

Kume Tsuken 久米通賢 (1780-1841)

Kume Tsuken came from Hiketa, a small port of eastern Sanuki. His father was a ferryman. Tsuken, a very clever boy, was able to repair a clock at the age of 7.

When he was 19 he went to Osaka and studied astronomy, navigation, mensuration and shipbuilding under Hazama Shigetomi, a well-known astronomer and inventor of surveying instruments.

Japan at that time still kept her door closed to other nations. But times were changing. In 1792, the Russians had sent a delegation to Matsumae, Hokkaido. In 1804, they again came to Nagasaki, Kyushu. 4 years later, a British man-of-war forced an entrance into the same harbour. In 1818, the British again sailed into Uraga Bay, near Tokyo, asking for friendship and commerce. Japan was kept busy defending her coastlines.

Tsuken, as a young scientist and official of Takamatsu-han, did his part, inventing or improving guns and explosives, casting cannons, and building "modern" men-of-war.

Then in the 1820's, repeated droughts and typhoons turned the central part of Sanuki into a sheer widerness. Crops were severely diminished, and many people were on the verge of starvation.

Lord Matsudaira IX was struggling to get out of this plight, but without success. Tsuken, too, was thinking over the matter. Then he presented a proposal to his senior official. But all he got from him was a cold sneer.

One day, some of his colleagues burst into his house, crying, "Are you trying to make a lot of money for yourself when others are having a hard time, you greedy extortionist!"

Lord Matsudaira, hearing of this disturbance, became interested in Tsuken's "ideas." He invited him and politely heard him out.

One of his best-laid plans was for the provision of greater protection for sugar manufacturers. Another was to revitalize salt production is Sakaide, making the best of the shoals and inexhaustible sunshine. He had already provided himself with ample knowledge of tides, winds, geography and salt-making, through careful investigation.

Tsuken expressed a strong wish to undertake this salt farm development project, declaring he would surely finish it in 3 years and that he would gladly die if he failed to do so. The Lord, greatly pleased, appointed him director of the scheme. In March 1826, the work got started with the building of a pair of piers. He worked desperately hard with his men. Most of the expenses for it had to be paid from his own resources and even from his relatives', for very little could be expected from Takamatsu-han, already very deep in debt.

3 years and 5 months later, the new salt farm (115,000 square km.) was completed, taking about 2 million man-days, costing 20,000 ryo.

Soon it expanded to 150,000 km., producing 300,000 sacks of salt annually (2,000 ryo 's worth), thus greatly contributing to the financial reconstruction of the Takamatsu-han.

By and by, people began to talk of "the Three Whites of Sanuki," referring to the sugar, salt and cotton produced in Sanuki. Certainly they were the stellar products from this province, both in quality and quantity.

Especially salt and its production had turned Sakaide, once a small port with less than 300 inhabitants, into what was called Salt City - Japan's greatest salt producer until the 1860's.

Even today people of Sakaide seldom talk of their town and its development without mentioning Kume Tsuken with gratitude.

Kosho-in Temple 高照院

The 79th Sacred Site of Shikoku

Kosho-in Temple is often called Tenno-ji Temple (Emperor's Temple), because it used to be the guardian temple of an Emperor's Shrine (Shiramine-gu Shrine in the same precincts) dedicated to Emperor Sutoku just after his death.

Yasoba 八十場, a spring nearby, is also associated with Sutoku. When he was assassinated on August 26, 1164, his body was kept in this spring for 21 days until orders were received from the Court in Kyoto. It remained uncorrupted, testifying to the preservative qualities of the cool pure water there.

This spring enjoys another legend about Takekaiko-o and his 88 men. The water is so cool, clean and sweet that tokoroten served by an adjacent shop is very refreshing in summer.

Temple Hymn No. 79

Go and seek for the Ten Pleasures, even the Emperor wandered after them.

(十楽の浮世の中を尋ぬべし 天皇さへもさすらひぞある)

Emperor Sutoku 崇徳上皇

(1119-1164: 18-year reign)

Emperor Sutoku ascended the throne at the age of 5 as the only son of Emperor Toba when he chose to abdicate. Yet after reigning for 18 years, Sutoku was forced off the throne by Toba himself.

Toba had harboured a strong dislike for Sutoku because the boy was suspected of being Toba's "grandfather's son" as he openly called him. Now Toba, after his grandfather died, had a baby boy by his favourite consort. He had to see his own son accede to the throne. But the child Emperor died at the age of 17.

According to the established practice, Sutoku's son should have succeeded the deceased Emperor. But Toba ignored Sutoku's line, chose Sutoku's half brother as Emperor, naming him Goshirakawa, and made Goshirakawa's son Crown Prince.

A faction at the Court expressed their sympathy with Sutoku, considering their own interest as much as his. But Sutoku controlled himself and remained as calm as possible.

14 years later, Toba died. Then another indignity was inflicted upon him; the Emperor would not allow Sutoku to attend his own father's funeral.

Now Sutoku's bitterness erupted in the form of a revolt in the heart of the Capital - something unheard-of for centuries. The battle itself lasted no more than a few hours. But its aftermath turned out to be the end of civilian rule in the Heian Period. About 70 of Sutoku's supporters were executed, and dozens were exiled. Sutoku himself was taken into custody and was banished to Sanuki in the summer of 1156.

At first he was detained in a hermitage belonging to the 81st Temple of Shikoku, and stayed there for 3 years. Then he was more closely confined within a stockade built beside the governor's office. There Sutoku spent most of his time copying the Five Great Sutras for the consecration of his father's tomb. But when he dispatched it to the Capital, it was coldly refused and sent back. Sutoku, casting the scrolls into the Inland Sea, took a desperate oath that on his death he might become a demon to throw all the Emperor's territory into disorder. Sutoku managed to live on, meditating revenge, until on August 26, 1164, when he was murdered while being taken to "a poetry party."

According to chronicles, every notable enemy of Sutoku died in disgrace. Some say it was not without reason that 21 years later the proud Tairas perished in the Inland Sea of all places in this country.

Emperor Goshirakawa lived to be 65, but he had to witness a succession of wars, earthquakes, whirlwinds and thunderbolts. The Court, trying to placate Sutoku's ghost, restored to him the title of "Emperor" (1181), then elevated him to a Shinto deity (1184). Yet they remained far from restoring the peace and order for hundreds of years.

Kandani-jinja Shrine 神谷神社

Kandani-jinja Shrine, 25 minutes' walk from JR Kamogawa Station, used to be a large temple-shrine complex, though at present only a small shrine remains. The main hall, built in 1219, is a National Treasure, the oldest of its kind in Japan.

The treasure house, only occasionally open to the public, houses a number of items of value, including a couple of wooden statues of royal guards, 800 years old, designated as Important Cultural Properties.

Shiramine-ji Temple 白峰寺

The 81st Sacred Site of Shikoku

Shiramine-ji Temple, deep in a ridge of the Goshiki-dai Plateau, is where the banished Emperor Sutoku's ashes were buried. Tonsho-ji-den Hall 頓証寺殿, even bigger than the main hall, is dedicated to Sutoku.

In 1168, 4 years after his death, Saigyo, a priest-poet and friend to Sutoku, visited here. The statue of Saigyo beside this hall celebrates this occasion.

According to Shiramine literature, that night Saigyo met the Emperor's flaming ghost who threatened horrible vengeance upon his enemies, making the ridges and valleys shake with terror. There was a heated argument between them - Sutoku as a Confucianist and Saigyo as a Buddhist. Finally, Saigyo had to pray in tears for his Majesty throughout the night, chanting and chanting the Sutra of Wisdom.

Sutoku's grave, known as Shiramine Goryo, is behind this hall.

Temple Hymn No. 81

The whole temple, frosty, cold and white, is filled with the chanting and chanting of Namu Amidabutsu.

(霜寒く露しろたへの寺の内 御名をとなふる法の声々)

The Monster Fish

In the reign of the Emperor Keiko, there was a monster fish terrorizing the seas around Shikoku Island. It swallowed sailors and fishermen, shattering their boats, to the utter horror of the local people.

The Emperor ordered his son Yamato Takeru, the greatest warrior at that time, to go and destroy the monster fish. Takeru, who had just been waiting to give his son a chance to try his strength, said to the Emperor: " My son, Takekaiko-o, is already 15 years old. He is very brave. I believe he will surely do a good job on the monster."

Greatly pleased, the Emperor ordered the young man to perform that difficult task. Soon Takekaiko-o and his men were sailing around Shikoku Island, searching for the monster fish. One day they found it in the Seto Inland Sea. They fought fiercely against it. But it was not very long before they found themeslves in the belly of the monster.

10 days passed. All but Takekaido-o were as good as dead. What should he do? He thought and thought. Then he had an idea. He took out his flints and kept a fire burning inside the monster until it began its death throes. He cut open the flesh of the fish and found the monster had already been cast away on the shore.

Then a little boy came up to him. He offered him a pot of water he had brought with him. How sweet it was! Takekaiko-oasked the boy where he could get such good water.

The boy took him to his spring. Takekaiko-o brought the water to his dying men in the fish. Soon all of his 88 men were restored to health again.

The brave young man was soon appointed to be the governor of Sanuki. His men followed him and called him "Sarure-o (Prince who stays in Sanuki)."

The spring noted for its good water was named Yasoba, meaning "the place where the 88 were revivified."

The monster fish was enshrined in Uo-no-mido Hall. Its monument still remains among the ancient pine trees on the campus of Sakaide Senior High School in downtown Sakaide.


Utazu is now undergoing the remodeling of the town, featuring the construction of Shin Utazu Toshi 新宇多津都市 on the site of former salt paddies 1,900 km. in area. Shin Utazu Toshi, meaning New Utazu City, will be a sort of futuristic city, meeting the needs of 8,700 inhabitants there in terms of communication, transportation, business, education, recreation, sightseeing and all kinds of supplies and services.

Traditionally, Utazu was a port town, temple town and castle town, which enjoyed its heyday during the Muromachi Period (1392-1573).

Its prosperity, which lasted about 150 years, started in the 1350's when Lord Hosokawa I, powerful in the central government, decided to pick the site for his residence in Utazu.

The small port turned into a fairly big town with residential, commercial and industrial areas. There were 33 temples, too. 10 of them still remain, as do some old houses and streets with their ancient names.

The prosperity continued into the Civil War Period for 80 years, though more subject to martial incidents.

In 1582, Utazu yielded to Chosokabe Motochika. 3 years later, Toyotomi Hideyoshi's subjugation of the whole of Shikoku resulted in the investiture of Sengoku Hidehisa as the new Lord of Sanuki, soon followed by Bito Tomonori and Lord Ikoma I.

Now that the Civil War days were over, Lord Ikoma I found his mountain castle in Utazu rather out of date. So he chose a level seaside quarter in Takamatsu as the site for his new castle residence.

In 1588 he moved to Takamatsu, leaving Utazu to dwindle into a small town of little importance.

Now, 400 years later, the town is in the limelight again. It will be interesting to visit one of the observation towers to see what is happening around: one is Gold Tower 144m tall, shining on the edge of New Utazu City, and the other is at Bisan Seto Traffic Advisory Service Center 備讃瀬戸海上交通センター on the slope of Aonoyama Hill.

There are many old temples worth visiting, too, including Nanryu-ji Temple as a seminary for the practice of Zen meditation. The Town Office is ready to provide you with a guide map for a tour around them.

Gosho-ji Temple 郷照寺

The 78th Sacred Site of Shikoku

Gosho-ji is a well-kept temple on the slope of Aono-yama Hill. Reportedly it was founded in 725. The main image of Amida Nyorai is a Cultural Property registered by the Prefecture.

Originally it was a temple of the Tendai sect. But now it is of the Ji sect. The story goes as follows:

In 1288, Saint Ippen (1239-1289), an advocate of nembutsu-odori (nembutsu-chanting-dancing) came over and taught people how to do it - by singing, dancing, striking the bell hung around his neck, invoking Amida Buddha through repeated chanting of "Namu Amidabutsu" or "Homage to Amida Buddha!"

People never forgot Ippen's teaching for hundreds of years afterwards. In 1664, the temple formally went over the Ji sect the saint had started.

"Ji" means "time." Ippen used to say: "Chant and dance. This living moment is the last moment of our lifetime."

Of all the 88 Temples on the Shikoku Pilgrimage, this is the only one of the Ji sect.

Temple Hymn No. 78

What fun it is at this temple, dance-dancing, chant-chanting, to the bells a-ring-ringing!

(踊りはね念仏となふ道場寺 拍子をそろへ錠をうつなり)


Marugame, the largest city in Middle Sanuki, is a castle town. The downtown area between the ports and the castle on a green hill is a fairly big business section with checkered streets of shops, stores, banks and firms.

The castle and its vicinity are calm and leafy, forming a school zone, residential areas, park areas and a government office district.

Out in the coastal waters stretches the archipelago of the Shiwaku Islands, the old home of the well-known "Seamen of the Shiwaku."

Marugame-jo Castle 丸亀城

The three-storied donjon on top of Kameyama Hill makes a fine landmark for Marugame. The old castle used to have its double moats until the 1950's, when the waves of modernization washed over the outer moat. The inner moat and the area within are preserved as a National Historic Site.

The donjon, completed in 1660, one of the oldest remaining in Shikoku, is an Important Cultural Property.

Ote-ichi-no-mon (First Front Gate) and Ote-ni-no-mon (Second Front Gate), both built in 1670, are Important Cultural Properties.

There used to be 12 subsidiary donjons, 8 gates and 2 towers. But they have all vanished.

The residence of the Lord and his family is gone, too, except Omote-mon (Front Gate) and Bansho (Guards' Quarters). Both are Cultural Properties registered by the Prefecture.

The neighbourhood known as Bancho 番丁 used to be a residential area for the officials of Marugame-han, the old streets still retaining that atmosphere. In 1926, the site of the castle was purchased by the City, and it was laid out into a park with a library and museum, a baseball ground, swimming pools, amusement parks and gardens.

A couple of lively occasions to visit the castle are Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom Festival) held from April 1 through 15, and O-shiro Matsuri (Castle Festival) on the 3rd Friday, Saturday and Sunday in May.

One of the big attractions of the latter is the parades on Saturday afternoon, including the Daimyo's Procession and his Warriors' Procession enacted by hundreds of children. The dancing finale on the Sunday evening is quite a spectacle, too.

The history of Marugame-jo Castle begins 43 years before that of Marugame-han. Its construction dates back to 1597, when Lord Ikoma I, who had completed Takamatsu Castle in 1590, built another castle here in Marugame, so as to better control western Sanuki.

In 1615 Lord Ikoma III abandoned the new castle, following a new law issued by the Tokugawa Shogunate that each province should have no more than 1 casle.

In 1641 the Province of Sanuki was divided into 2 han ― Takamatsu-han (120,000 koku) and Marugame-han (53,000 koku). The first governor of Marugame-han, Lord Yamasaki I, at once began to reconstruct the long-abandoned castle. But it was not until 1660 that all the structures were completed by Lord Kyogoku I. The Yamasakis' lordship had been made redundant in 1658 because they had no heir.

The 7 generations of Lords Kyogoku stayed here for 209 years, until in 1869 the last Lord officially returned the han to the Emperor Meiji.

Naked Juza

The 4-level 60 m ramparts of Marugame-jo Castle, the tallest in Japan, contribute greatly to the beauty of the castle. Local people seldom talk of the ramparts without referring to "Naked Juza," a gifted mason who built them more than 350 years ago.

One day, when the castle was nearing completion, the Lord came over to see how things were going. Soon he was very happy to find everything so fine and beautiful. Above all, he was pleased with the sight of the ramparts stretching down like so many giant fans fixed around the mound.

"What a wonderful fortress he has built for me!" exclaimed the Lord. "Indeed, Juza is a genius. No wonder he prides himself on being the best mason in the country. None but flying birds will be able to get over the walls!"

Quite satisfied, the Lord sent for the leader of the wall-building. Soon Juza arrived, and the Lord was generous enough to give him a gift of money as well as kind wlrds. Both were very delighted with each other.

Then the Lord said to Juza jokingly: "True, you are a past master in the art of masonry. But you would not be aable to climb the walls of your own building, would you?"

To the Lord's secret horror, juza confidently answered: "Yes, I think I could, if you'd give me a pair of iron rods one foot long. "

At once a pair of iron rods were brought to him, and soon, before the startled eyes of the Lord, he climbed the walls as easily as a monkey cliimbs up a tree.

A few days later, Juza was ordered to measure the depth of a well. He climbed down and down to the water, when suddenly a great stone fell on him. That was the end of good old Juza.

What is said to be his grave, a simple stone, is in Jukaku-in Temple 寿覚院, the family temple of the Yamasakis. People call it "the stone of Naked Juza," because he always worked naked.

Mizuabi Mikoshi

The annual festival of Tashio Hachiman-gu shrine in the eastern suburbs of Marugame is known for a ritual called Mizuabi Mikoshi. On October 15, vigorous young parishioners, bearing the mikoshi, a portable shrine, make their way through the River Doki, giving the mikoshi a good mizuabi or ceremonial dunking, to the cheers of spectators on the banks.

Bansho-en Garden 万象園 - a Landscape Garden & Galleries

Bansho-en Garden was built in 1688 by Lord Kyogoku II as a villa for his family. A lake in the centre is a miniature of Lake Biwa, the biggest in Japan. The islands in it are named "Sails", "Wild Geese", "Snow", "Rain", "Mist", "Bell", "Moon" and "Evening Glow". Making a leisrely tour around these islands via arched bridges is really refreshing, in whichever season you may visit. A tea house by the lake serves green tea and cake (\300).

There are 2 galleries ― Marugame Art Gallery and Pottery Gallery. The former has on display 42 woeks by Courbet, Corot and the artists of the Barbizon School ― Millet, Daubigny, Diaz, Jacque, Troyon and Dupre.

The latter houses Chinese ceramic ware and a collection of Iranian earthenware and glassware dating back to 2500 B.C. through the 1200's A.D.


Marugame is famous for uchiwa or round paper fan manufacturing. About 130 manufacturers produce about 56,000,000 paper fans a year - about 90% of the production in this country.

Its history dates back to the first half of the 17th century, when Priest Yugen of Konko-in Temple of Kompira-san thought of making a paper fan with Kompira's coat of arms 金 stamped on it. It would, he thought, be a good souvenir for those who came over to Sanuki by the hundreds of thousands to make their "Kompira Pilgrimage."

The then Lord of Sanuki, Ikoma IV, took up his idea. He invited some excellent artisans from Nara so that his people could learn their art of uchiwa-making.

In those days, paper fans coated with tannin were used when making a fire - a necessity in the kitchen - and they sold like hot cakes. By the middle of the 19th century, more than 800,000 paper fans a year, including elegant ones to be used by the fashionable, had been produced and sold, thus adding greatly to the revenues of Marugame - an art of making baskets and bowls out of the same materials as uchiwa - bamboo, paper, and tannin.

Nowadays bamboo is often replaced by plastic and washi (Japanese paper) by pulp. Yet the art of uchiwa -making and its manufacturing are still almost the same as they used to be - a cottage industry, all the family from children to grannies lending a hand from time to time. Its manufacturing centre is Shioya- cho, the north western part of downtown Marugame.

The Shiwaku Islands 塩飽諸島

The Shiwaku Islands off Marugame and Sakaide consist of about 30 islets in the central part of the Seto Inland Sea National Park. 5 of them have become bases for the piers of the Seto Ohashi Bridge - Hitsuishi-jima, Iwakuro-jima, Wasa-jima, Yo-shima and Mitsugo-jima.

If you drove to Shikoku via the Bridge, you may have already visited one of them, Yoshima 与島 with its "Fishermen's Wharf." The island is becoming a sightseeing outpost for Shikoku, providing traffic information for drivers as well as sightseeing cruises around the Inland Sea.

These islets are known for the "Seamen of the Shiwaku," the most skillful Japanese sailors in former times.

The Seamen of the Shiwaku

Since the dawn of Japanese history, the Seto Inland Sea has played a very important role in maritime transportation. It was the main route along which cultures and civilizations of China and Korea were brought over the sea to Nara, Kyoto, Osaka and many other places around the Inland Sea.

Products from Kyushu and the western parts of Honshu were also carried to the capital by this route.

It is therefore not surprising that the Shiwaku Islands, situated in the central part of the Inland Sea, should have already produced excellent seamen as earlu as the 10th century.

In the 930's, they gave their support to Fujiwara Kunikaze, the then Lord of Sanuki, helping him succeed in driving out Fujiwara Sumitomo, a formet Lord of Iyo, then pirate chief whose ravages had completely paralyzed Inland Sea transport.

In the 1160's, when the Taira clan began to expand their power in the central government, they often relied on the seamen of the Shiwaku. The Tairas were trying to amass ever greater wealth through trading with China. What they needed most was the seamen's knowledge of tides and currents, navigating expertise and fine skills in shipbuilding.

During the war between the Tairas and the Minamotos, the seamen were loyal to the defeated Tairas.

Throughout the eras that followed - those of the Kamakura Shogunate, the Muromachi Shogunate and the Civil War - the seamen remained active, engaging in trade with China and Korea for themselves as well as for the Shoguns.

Some of them joined the Wako- fleets of Japanese pirates who from the 14th to the 16th centuries plundered the coasts of the Korean Peninsula, China and the South Sea Islands - while others helped the Shoguns to stop the Wako.

In 1577, Oda Nobunaga, the victor in the Civil War, rewarded the seamen by granting them priority in using the port of Sakai, Osaka, the most important port at that time, in return for the great assistance they had given him during the war.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the successor to Nobunaga, officially patronized the seamen, who returned his favours by helping him in subjugating Shikoku (1585) and Kyushu (1587), and on the military expeditions to the Continent, which turned out to be a failure.

In 1590, Hideyoshi rewarded 650 seamen for their "unparalleled assistance" with a feud of 250 koku on the Shiwaku Islands and each with the status of Nimmyo or feudal lordship - something unheard-of in all the history of Japan. This status remained vested in them for 280 years until 1869, when the feudal class divisions were abolished with the Meiji Restoration.

During the Edo Period (1603-1867), they had their own government office called Kimbansho and 4 senior statesmen called Toshiyori took turns in ruling the islands.

In business they were active not only as the Shogun's seamen but also as independent merchants. They sailed around the coasts of the whole country, collecting, carrying and selling all kinds of goods and products. Some of them became so wealthy that certain Daimyo are said to have borrowed money from them.

In 1858 the Tokugawa Shogun was to send a delegation to Washington in order to conclude a treaty of friendship and commerce with the USA. He had the ship built by the Dutch. But her crew, he thought, must be all Japanese. The crew of 50 tried their best and succeeded in steering the man-of-war to and from America. 35 out of the 50 who performed this feat were seamen from the Shiwaku Islands. 2 of the 35 died from overwork and were buried in San Francisco.

Soon 2 young men from the same islands - Yamashita Iwakichi and Furukawa Shohachi - went to study in Holland. They were the pioneers of Japan's shipbuilding industry.


Ii-no-yama is known as Mt. Fuji of Sanuki, a fine landmark of the Sanuki Plain.

The name, literally meaning Rice Mountain, comes from Ii-yorihiko, a mythological god, who stayed on this mountain in order to hold sway over the Land of Sanuki.

Ii-yorihiko was just a face - one of the 4 faces owned by a body of land called Iyo-no-futana, created by Izanagi and Izanami, the father and mother of the Japanese Islands.

The other 3 faces were Ehime for the Land of Iyo (Ehime Pref.), Takeyoriwake for the Land of Tosa (Kochi Pref.), and Ogetsu-hime for the Land of Awa (Tokushima Pref.).

The great stone on the mountaintop, as another legend tells us, was placed there by a giant trying to cover up its crater.


JR Tadotsu Station is a junction of the Yosan Line for Ehime Pref. and the Dosan Line for Kochi Pref. This is where Shikoku's railway system started in 1889, when the first steam locomotive train ran 15.5 km between Marugame and Kotohira by way of Tadotsu.

Tadotsu, an ancient port town, used to be the seat of government of Tadotsu-han, a fiefdom with 10,000 koku, established in 1694 as a branch of Marugame-han. Some old streets still retain the atmosphere of former times, especially around the neighbourhood known as Kachu, featuring Higashi Goten or Buke-yashiki  東御殿. It is the best- preserved structure of its kind in the Prefecture.

Toryo Koen Park 桃陵公園

Toryo Koen Park is a recreation centre of the town. Situated on a hill by the coast, it provides a panoramic observation spot. Cherry trees, planted all over the hill, are a great attraction in their season. The Cherry Blossom Festival lasts for 15 days, beginning on April 1st.

On the southern slope of the hill stands Shorinji Kempo Headquarters 総本山少林寺③. It is reported that about a million including an increasing number of non-Japanese are studying and practising this martial art and its spiritual discipline.

Shorinji Kempo

Shorinji Kempo, an art of self-defence, has been developed as a from of ascetic practic for Zen Buddhists. It is not merely a sport or martial art, but a religious exercise to approach the Buddha's spirit in the principles of "self-realization" and "live and let live."

Shorinji Kempo was started by So Doshin I (1911 -1980) in 1947. 2 years before, he had been repatriated from Manchuria, the northeastern part of China that "Imperialist Japan" held for 13 years till the end of the World War II. Doshin had seen how people could be dehumanized in the dire extremities of the war and its aftermath. He also learned how things in this world are dependent on people who manage events.

"People are everything. Developing good humanity in people is the only way to save Japan and the world at large," he kept saying to himself in those days.

Doshin, who had learned various martial arts in China, pondered over the Zen philosophy of Bodhidharma as well, trying to restore the martial art that Bodhidharma himself was said tho have practised with his disciples about 1,500 years ago when he transmitted Zen from India to China.

Finnally Doshin succeeded in restoring and reorganizing the whole body of that art, which he named Shorinji Kempo. He founded its Headquarters here in Tadotsu and taught it to young people for the rest of his life.

Now his daughter, So Doshin II, has succeeded her father's leadership, carrying on the spirit of his teachings.

A timely occasion to visit this Headquarters is Bodhidharma Festival on the 1st Sunday in October. The Shorinji Kempo demonstration and charity bazaars are great attractions.

For further information, make inquiries at Shorinji Kempo Headquarters: 3-4-59 Hondori Tadotsu-cho, Kagawa-ken Japan.

Doryu-ji Temple 道隆寺

 Doryu-ji Temple was founded in the middle of the 8th century as a family temple of the Wake clan, a local power. A popular legend tells of its origin as follows:

Wake-no Michitaka (Doryu) once had the misfortune to fatally shoot his old nurse while he was trying to shoot some mysterious light that appeared every night in his mulberry plantation.

Grief-stricken, Doryu carved an image of Yakushi-nyorai, the Medicine Buddha, out of the light-haunted mulberry tree, enshrined it in a hall and prayed for the peace of the nurse's soul.

Later Kobo Daishi visited her and created the larger Yakushi-nyorai we see today. The old one is said to be ensconced in its body.

Among the many temple treasures, the 800-year-old Star Mandala scroll is an Important Cultural Property.

Temple Hymn No. 77

All I aspire to is entering the way of Buddhahood
so that I may see the moon of salvation.

(願ひをば仏道隆に入れはてて 苔提の月を見まくほしさに)

Kamo-jinja Shrine 賀茂神社

 This shrine maintains an ancient nembutsu-odori, which is performed on the last Sunday in August evry year. Its origin is attributed to Sugawara-no Michizane as the Lord of Sanuki, just like the Takinomiya Nembutsu-odori. But here the dancers, musicians and their leader are all boys and girls in festive costumes. It is an Intangible Cultural Property registered by the Prefecture.

Another feature of this ancient shrine is about 10,000 old coins excavated from its precincts. They were from the Han, T'ang, Sung, Yuan, Koryo and Kin Dynasties on the Continent as well as from Nara and Kyoto. They are all Cultural Properties registered by the Town.

Kaigan-ji Temple & Bathing Beach

Kaigan-ji Temple 海岸寺, 2 minutes' walk from JR Kaiganji Station, is a well-kept temple with a Youth Hostel in its seaside precincts. With its Mandala-en Garden, a Mini-Shikoku Circuit and a pine-wooded, unpretentinus sand beach nearby, it is inviting especially in summer.

Some people insist that this was where Kobo Daishi was actually born, because Misumi-dera Temple in the neighborhood was his mother's villa.

Japan in Miniature

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Updated on 22 September 2016 | E-mail Steve | 四国新聞社出版『KAGAWA』より

Bilingualism and Japanology - Online publications by Steve McCarty
annotated in English | Japanese: バイリンガリズムと日本学