石燈籠 The Stone Lanterns of the Ofunairibori
収蔵場所：鹽竈神社 塩竈市一森山1-1 見学可（5:00～20：00まで）
The Stone Lanterns of the Ofunairibori
A Shiogama City-designated item of Tangible Cultural Heritage. Classified under Calligraphy / Books.
These stone lanterns are historical monuments which symbolized the contribution of an inter-community express waterway, called the Ofunairibori.
In the year Kanbun 13 (1673 CE) of the Edo Period (from 1603 to 1868 CE), these lanterns were presented to Shiogama Shrine by Date Hannosuke, a descendant of lord Date Masamune and a feudal lord of the Sendai Domain. The lanterns commemorate the waterway as a means of transport and commerce between two communities. The backstory of these lanterns go back over 300 years before they were made, when the Ofunairibori was initially constructed.
This waterway gave an opportunity to accelerate commerce in the domain, linking the communities of Shiogama on Matsushima Bay (which specialized in fish, salt, and seafood), and Gamo (which specialized in rice crops), located in what is now Sendai City. Feudal lord Date Tsunamura (posthumously Kozan), lord Hannosuke’s ancestor, was in charge of building this water road in the year Teiji 6 / Shohei 21 (1367 CE). During the Meiji Era (between 1868 and 1914), the Ofunairibori was widened and fortified.
The pair of lanterns can be found within the premises of the present-day Shiwahiko Jinja / Shiogama Jinja Shrine proper. They can be located at two separate gateways. One is located near the western corridor outside the shrine’s fenced walls. The other is located around the Sayugu Haiden (identified by the kanji 左右宮拝殿).
On October 1st, Heisei 30, (2018 CE), the lanterns were designated by Shiogama City as Tangible Cultural Properties in accordance with the 300th year anniversary of lord Date Tsunamura.
Location: Shiogama Shrine, 1-1, Ichimoriyama, Shiogama City, Miyagi Pref.
Visiting hours: From 05:00 to 20:00.