Karahimon (sluice gate)
The Kusafuka area is in the southwestern part of the town of Numakuma.
Literature on the town explains, "Kusafuka was originally a part of Shimosanna
but later became a separate village. The place was named Kusafuka, which
means overgrown with grass."
On the southern tip of the Kusafuka area lies reclaimed land named "Isoshingai".
In the past, the area as far as Yorinomiya Shrine formed an inlet which
must have been overgrown with reeds.
Roughly 50 hectares of land were reclaimed in the Kanbun era (1661-1673) by
the Fukuyama-han (feudal clan). A karahimon (a Chinese-style sluice gate) in
Kusafuka was built for the purpose of controlling water used for farming in the
newly reclaimed land, which was reclaimed by damming up the mouth of the
A stone wall was built in a corner on the east side of the dike, and a sluice
gate was constructed with stone and large wooden pillars. A pulley installed to
regulate the water flow played a great role in protecting agricultural land.
In spite of two large scale repairs in the Edo period, the original structure is
retained. In 1982, it underwent disassembling and restoration. A pulley to
operate the sluice gate was restored on that occasion and a winch from the
Showa era has also been left as it was.
A precious historic industrial facility site in the study of the history of reclamation (Photograph taken circa 1994)
Numakuma Peninsula is the major area for growing rushes, the material of Bingo-omote (the sheet of woven rushes to cover the surface of tatami mats produced in the Bingo region), which is nationally famous for its high quality. Within the precincts of Yorinomiya Shrine in Kusafuka is situated Tatamiomote (sheet of woven rushes) Shrine, the only one of its kind in Japan.
The grave of Shin-emon Michihisa Hasegawa is located in Shimosanna. During the Koji era (1555-1558), he took the lead in developing a technique to produce nakatsugi-omote, or a mat woven from short pieces of rush that had previously been discarded.