With a total number of around 30,000 artifacts, a museum which speaks about the glory days and lifestyle of Shukunegi
The history and culture of the town of Shukunegi that had proliferated as a port for the cargo shipping business up to the Edo Era of the 19th century are reflected through folk materials on display. The interior of the museum is divided into 3 galleries: the Senkokubune Museum which displays the reproduced senkokubune cargo ship, the Large Gallery, a once abandoned schoolhouse which includes displays such as lifestyle artifacts from the old days, and the New Wing which displays farming and fishing tools, so that there is an overflowing display of around 30,000 items.
The replica of a senkokubune that fills up an entire gallery
At the Senkokubune Museum, Japan’s first replicated senkokubune cargo ship is on display under the name of “Hakusan Maru”, based on the blueprints of the “Kouei Maru” that had been built in Shukunegi in 1853. With a total length of 23.75m and a maximum width of 7.24m, the cargo vessel possesses a mast which is over 20m tall that was created from a whole cedar tree on Sado. You can board the ship for a tour where inside, the boatman’s cabin with tatami flooring, the kamidana household shrine, and the ship chest of drawers which had stored valuable items have been recreated so that you can get catch a glimpse of what life was like for the crew. The replica has been recreated at one-tenth its actual size, and in so doing, there is another smaller vessel on display that is one-tenth the size of the replica. The reproduction of the ships is the result of efforts by craftsmen and citizens on Sado Island. In late July, the Hakusan Maru Festival is held in which the ship with its huge sail is pulled out of the museum so that its gallant appearance can be viewed under the blue sky.
A gallery using an old schoolhouse that brings back the past
In the Large Gallery which uses the old Shukunegi Elementary School, artifacts such as kimono from the old days, Buddhist objects, pottery, dolls and lifestyle items are on display, and exhibits from a port town including collectibles that came over from the mainland by cargo ships can be viewed. Furthermore in the New Wing, tools which were used for work such as farming and fishing implements from the southern part of Sado are displayed. Within the 30,000 artifacts on display, there are items including these implements from southern Sado and ship carpentry tools which have been designated nationally as Important Tangible Folk Cultural Properties.