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Along with ports at Hôfu (also known as Nakanoseki) and the more famous [[Shimonoseki]],<ref>''Kami'', ''naka'', and ''shimo'', meaning "above," "middle," and "below," or "upper," "middle," and "lower," respectively, with ''seki'' meaning "barrier" or "checkpoint."</ref> Kaminoseki was one of a number of maritime checkpoints, or ''[[sekisho]]'', maintained by the ''han'' government. As such, it was home to a number of official facilities, including an official guesthouse (''ochaya''), expanded in [[1643]] to include not just lodging, dining space, and kitchens, but baths, entertainment space, storage space, and residences for the staff, spread out over an area roughly the size of a modern-day soccer field. This guesthouse served not only the lords of Chôshû as they made their way to and from [[Edo]] on their ''[[sankin kotai|sankin kôtai]]'' (alternate attendance) journeys, but also a number of Kyushu ''daimyô'' making that journey, and Korean and Ryukyuan embassies.<ref>The Korean embassies in particular lodged at Kaminoseki eleven times, on every one of their embassy journeys to Japan, with the exception of the final mission, the [[1811]] mission, which only traveled to [[Tsushima han|Tsushima]], and not to mainland Japan. Dusinberre, 21-23.</ref> Meanwhile, Chôshû and [[Tsushima han]] officials accompanying the Korean embassies took up lodging in villagers' homes, often taking up the majority of the homes along the main streets of both Kaminoseki and Murotsu. The situation was similar when the Môri or other ''daimyô'' passed through on their ''sankin kôtai'' journeys.<ref>For example, in 1764, Chôshû and Tsushima officials accompanying the Korean missions occupied 36 out of 43 homes along the main street in Kaminoseki, as well as some number of homes in Murotsu. Dusinberre, 24-25.</ref>
 
Along with ports at Hôfu (also known as Nakanoseki) and the more famous [[Shimonoseki]],<ref>''Kami'', ''naka'', and ''shimo'', meaning "above," "middle," and "below," or "upper," "middle," and "lower," respectively, with ''seki'' meaning "barrier" or "checkpoint."</ref> Kaminoseki was one of a number of maritime checkpoints, or ''[[sekisho]]'', maintained by the ''han'' government. As such, it was home to a number of official facilities, including an official guesthouse (''ochaya''), expanded in [[1643]] to include not just lodging, dining space, and kitchens, but baths, entertainment space, storage space, and residences for the staff, spread out over an area roughly the size of a modern-day soccer field. This guesthouse served not only the lords of Chôshû as they made their way to and from [[Edo]] on their ''[[sankin kotai|sankin kôtai]]'' (alternate attendance) journeys, but also a number of Kyushu ''daimyô'' making that journey, and Korean and Ryukyuan embassies.<ref>The Korean embassies in particular lodged at Kaminoseki eleven times, on every one of their embassy journeys to Japan, with the exception of the final mission, the [[1811]] mission, which only traveled to [[Tsushima han|Tsushima]], and not to mainland Japan. Dusinberre, 21-23.</ref> Meanwhile, Chôshû and [[Tsushima han]] officials accompanying the Korean embassies took up lodging in villagers' homes, often taking up the majority of the homes along the main streets of both Kaminoseki and Murotsu. The situation was similar when the Môri or other ''daimyô'' passed through on their ''sankin kôtai'' journeys.<ref>For example, in 1764, Chôshû and Tsushima officials accompanying the Korean missions occupied 36 out of 43 homes along the main street in Kaminoseki, as well as some number of homes in Murotsu. Dusinberre, 24-25.</ref>
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The domain's local administrative office, or ''bansho'', in the town was relocated in [[1711]] to a more prominent location which allowed officials to throw open the doors and look out over the waterfront, flanked by [[yumi|longbows]] and thus presenting an impressive visage as well to those looking up at them.<ref>Dusinberre, 21.</ref> At that time, the population of the town is estimated at roughly 140 households, comprised of a total of less than one thousand people.<ref>Dusinberre, 23.</ref> The town was also home to three [[teahouses]], and an office overseeing the operations of the ''[[koshini-gata]]'' system of domain-commissioned warehouses, as well as roughly twelve ''[[tonya|ton'ya]]'' (private shipping agents) each of which specialized in the storage and shipment of particular goods from different provinces, and bore names such as Awa-ya, Kaga-ya, Higo-ya, and Nagasaki-ya. Each also maintained lodgings for ''[[kitamaebune]]'' ship captains & crews.<ref>The relationship between the name of the ''ton'ya'' operation and the goods or provinces with which they dealt is unclear. Dusinberre, 27.</ref>
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The domain's local administrative office, or ''bansho'', in the town was relocated in [[1711]] to a more prominent location which allowed officials to throw open the doors and look out over the waterfront, flanked by [[yumi|longbows]] and thus presenting an impressive visage as well to those looking up at them.<ref>Dusinberre, 21.</ref> The office was headed by members of the two samurai families resident in the town - the Hayashi and Yasumura - while the Odamura family dominated the position of village headman.<ref name=hardtimes28>Dusinberre, 28.</ref> At that time, in 1711, the population of the town is estimated at roughly 140 households, comprised of a total of less than one thousand people.<ref>Dusinberre, 23.</ref> The town was also home to three [[teahouses]] - the Edo-ya, Kaneko-ya, and one other<ref name=hardtimes28/> - and an office overseeing the operations of the ''[[koshini-gata]]'' system of domain-commissioned warehouses, as well as roughly twelve ''[[tonya|ton'ya]]'' (private shipping agents) each of which specialized in the storage and shipment of particular goods from different provinces, and bore names such as Awa-ya, Kaga-ya, Higo-ya, and Nagasaki-ya. Each also maintained lodgings for ''[[kitamaebune]]'' ship captains & crews.<ref>The relationship between the name of the ''ton'ya'' operation and the goods or provinces with which they dealt is unclear. Dusinberre, 27.</ref> In 1842, the three teahouses combined were home to fifty-four ''[[yujo|yûjo]]'' and five male clerks (''tedai''), and were responsible for as much as one-quarter of the revenues earned in the town.<ref>Dusinberre, 31.</ref> Much of the remaining portion was also connected to port activities, with agriculture comprising only a small portion of the town's economic activity.
    
Along with neighboring Murotsu and a handful of other Chôshû fishing villages, Kaminoseki also enjoyed a privileged position as a designated ''tateura'' port. Fishermen from these villages enjoyed certain privileges in fishing in certain waters, but were also obligated to offer certain forms of assistance to drifting ships or castaway sailors, as well as unloading or otherwise serving the ''daimyô's'' ships when they came to port.<ref>Dusinberre, 21.</ref>
 
Along with neighboring Murotsu and a handful of other Chôshû fishing villages, Kaminoseki also enjoyed a privileged position as a designated ''tateura'' port. Fishermen from these villages enjoyed certain privileges in fishing in certain waters, but were also obligated to offer certain forms of assistance to drifting ships or castaway sailors, as well as unloading or otherwise serving the ''daimyô's'' ships when they came to port.<ref>Dusinberre, 21.</ref>
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Kaminoseki and its neighboring villages were fairly poor in terms of agricultural production, as was relatively typical of Inland Sea port-towns / fishing villages, and especially typical of Inland Sea islands. Yet, one demographic feature of Kaminoseki, Murotsu, and their immediate surroundings which was not so typical was an extraordinary proportion of landless people, including laborers known as ''môdo''. At the peak in the 1840s, as many as 79% of the people in these towns were not landowners; meanwhile, the overall average for Chôshû domain was no higher than 33%.<ref>Dusinberre, 29.</ref>
    
Today, the town is perhaps most known for the nuclear power plant which was proposed to be constructed in the 1980s, and which as a result of local protests, has been delayed and delayed, essentially blocked, and today more than 30 years later still has not been built; many of those opposing the construction of the power plant argue that they do so, in part at least, in order to protect their hometown (''furusato''), though there are also many in favor of the power plant who argue similarly that its construction will help revive the town, which has seen considerable decline as have many rural areas in Japan in recent decades.<ref>Dusinberre, 7-9.</ref>
 
Today, the town is perhaps most known for the nuclear power plant which was proposed to be constructed in the 1980s, and which as a result of local protests, has been delayed and delayed, essentially blocked, and today more than 30 years later still has not been built; many of those opposing the construction of the power plant argue that they do so, in part at least, in order to protect their hometown (''furusato''), though there are also many in favor of the power plant who argue similarly that its construction will help revive the town, which has seen considerable decline as have many rural areas in Japan in recent decades.<ref>Dusinberre, 7-9.</ref>
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