Sengoku-bune is a big sailing ship, which used to navigate along the coast of the Sea of Japan.

Big sailing ships for foreign trade with the countries in East Asia were changed to the use of domestic cargo transport in the 17th century. Because the then government issued a national seclusion order. The center of commerce of Japan in those years were Osaka and Kyoto, thus almost all the domestic products were once collected there to be evaluated, then were sent to all the consuming cities like Edo, present Tokyo, across the country. A group of sailing ships in charge of this transport is called Kitamae-bune, and this transport had been bolstered in accordance with the increasing number Sengoku-bune big cargo ships. In spring, they left Hokkaido to navigate along the coast of the Sea of Japan toward the west till arriving in Shimonoseki, the western tip of Honshu main island, then entered the Seto Inland Sea by way of the Kanmon Strait to steer east all the way till Osaka. In summer and vice-versa. The specific goods on board were rice, sake, sugar, salt, candles, dried seafoods and so on. The first picture shows a replica of Sengoku-bune, 24 meters long and 7 meters wide. The second picture, the still existing stone stakes to moor the Sengoku-bune, which are found in Sado Island. The white granite, the material of these stakes, are from Kobe, a total sea route of 1,000 kilometers away from this island.


Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,

Masahisa Takaki.

全国通訳案内士 高木聖久




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