Sannose (historic site)
Sannose, located on the east side of Shimokamagari Island, has been an important center of sea traffic since the medieval era. Masanori Fukushima,
the first feudal lord to govern Aki Province in the Edo period ,constructed an
anchoring place for boats in Sannose with a 114m timber stairway. The
succeeding lord ,Asano, then claimed ownership and equipped it with
headquarter facilities, the Ue no Chaya (tea house), the Shita no Chaya and
a facility for security guards. Lords of western provinces, magistrates of
Nagasaki, government delegates, envoys from Korea and captains of Dutch
merchants called at Sannose and lodged there. One record shows that 1,500
Korean envoys, including 1,000-1,200 guards, could be put up at the Sannose
The headquarters were set up near the present Shimokamagari branch office of
Kure City building, with the Shita no Chaya along the timber stairway north of the
headquarters and the Ue no Chaya in back of the headquarters. The facility for
security guards was to the south of the headquarters. The buildings have now
been transformed into an elementary school for children.
Part of the timber stairway near the headquarters, a road and stone stairways leading to the lodging place remain as they were in those days.
The port with the timber stairway ordered by Masanori Fukushima (Photograph taken circa 1994)
Both Kamikamagari and Shimokamagari Islands were called by one name, Kamagari Island, in the early modern era. In Geihantsushi, we find the following record, "Kamagari Island consists of two islands. Kamikamagari Island has a circumference of 24 kilometers and Shimokamagari Island has 15.5 kilometers." Both islands were also called the Hidaka manor of Aki Province, where Kofukuji Temple of Nara had control.