- Sado Archive
Shukunegi, being located only about 4 km southwest of Ogi Port (an important stop on the westbound route), flourished as a base for the Sengokubune shipbuilding industry and has been inhabited by people engaged in occupations related to this business since around the 13th century according to historical documents. It is said, that it prospered to the extent that one third of Sado`s wealth was collected in this tiny village that barely covers one hectare of land.
Some of the outer walls of the village`s buildings are made of ship planks and nails, reminiscent of the Sengokubune boats – a testament to the wisdom and ingenuity of the local craftsmen`s skills. The roofs used to be thatched with stone-mounted wooden shingles, but from the Edo period (1603-1868), tiles started to come into fashion. Today, about 40 roofs have been restored to stone-mounted roofs, which is one of the characteristic features of Shukunegi.
From the middle of the Edo period to the Meiji period, Shukunegi had a population of ca. 500 people living in 120 houses. Including more than ten shipowners, sailors and ship carpenters, forty-five merchants, bucket makers, navy blue-collar workers, blacksmiths and stonemasons.
By the end of the Meiji period (1868-1912), with the advent of steamships and railways, and the development of the telegraph, Shukunegi's boats gradually disappeared. Many people abandoned the sea, dug side wells and opened fields on higher ground. The shipbuilders left the village in search of work, and Shukunegi became a village of migrant workers. The village is now a quiet half-farming, half-fishing community of about 60 houses and 180 people.