Thursday, May 27, 2021

Morikawa Mansion in Takehara


Takehara is a small port on the coast of Hiroshima that grew wealthy in the Edo Period with the production of salt. It has a well preserved section of the old town that is a registered Preservation District and also goes by the nickname "Little Kyoto"

In a previous post I showed a few photos of the historic "streetscape". Several of the traditional buildings are open to the public, the largest being the former Morikawa Family residence.

It is a huge property, deserving of the title "mansion", and though its style is most certainly Edo period, it was not built until 1916. However, some of the elements were dismanted and brought here from older buuldings.

After 1868 the numerous sumptuary laws that controlled many aspects of how your home could appear had disappeared and so it was easier for merchants to openly display their wealth. The stone floor in the doma, the entrance and kitchen area normally with a packed-earth floor, being just one example.

Morikawa was the mayor of  Takehara when he built this residence. It is believed to have been built on the site of the first "salt" fields of the town.

In a later post I will cover the small gardens that surround the house and are in courtyards, most designed to be viewed from inside the house.


  1. Just how many "Little Kyoto's" are there in Japan?

    1. dozens and dozens..... which makes the term meaningless to me, but it is one of the trigger phrases that so many Japanophiles latch on to

    2. It’s like all those places around Japan that claim a local spot is that area or region’s Fujisan or Ginza.

    3. And so many places in Japan with their "Fujisans" and "Ginzas" as well...

    4. I agree..... it does seem particularly prevalent in Japan.....also A small waterfall known as "the Niagara of the east"..... a mountaintop ruin as Japan's machu Pichiu.... ... some sort of obsession wuth ranking methinks