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  • Japanese: 牛窓 (Ushimado)

Ushimado was a major Inland Sea port town in Okayama han, which regularly saw kitamaebune merchant ships, daimyô fleets on sankin kôtai journeys, and Dutch, Ryukyuan, and Korean embassies to Edo, as well as more everyday traffic. Ushimado was also the chief departure point for pilgrims seeking to sail from Honshû to Shikoku to visit Konpira Shrine. Ushimado is today part of Setouchi City, Okayama prefecture. At its Edo period peak, the town was home to about 4000 people.[1]

Okayama han maintained a chaya ("teahouse") in the town which served the function of a honjin, providing lodgings for the Ikeda clan lord of Okayama, other daimyô on sankin kôtai journeys, shogunate officials, foreign envoys, and the like who passed through the town. Between 1624 and 1655, Korean missions were entertained and lodged at the Buddhist temple Honren-ji, which dates to the 15th century, and today features a number of buildings which have been designated Important Cultural Properties.[2] After 1655, these missions were housed in part at the chaya, which was first established in 1630, and renovated in 1669. Korean high officials (上官) and their followers (次官) were often housed at the private home of the village headman (ôshôya), Naraya Sukesaburô, a home which also served as the center of the village administration. The more than 160 middle-ranking officials (中官) in a Korean mission were housed at the home of Nasu Sanpei, a relative of Naraya by marriage, while a row of eight machiya homes were given over to providing lodgings for the 230 or so lower-ranking officials (下官) in the mission. The lord of Tsushima han who escorted these Korean missions typically stayed in the honjin, along with a number of his retainers.[3]


  • Umimichi wo yuku: Edo jidai no Seto Naikai 海道をゆく-江戸時代の瀬戸内海-, Museum of Ehime History and Culture 愛媛県歴史文化博物館 (1999), 46.
  • Chôsen tsûshinshi to Okayama, Okayama Prefectural Museum, 2007, 56.
  1. Miyake Riichi 三宅理一, Edo no gaikô toshi 江戸の外交都市, Kashima shuppankai (1990), 85.
  2. Chôsen tsûshinshi to Okayama, 34.
  3. Miyake, 77-84.