Pop-up Card: Lighthouses in Shimane Prefecture

2022-01-23

According to news reports in November 2021, the Council for Cultural Affairs has reported to the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology that the Mihonoseki Lighthouse in Matsue City and the Izumo-Hinomisaki Lighthouse in Izumo City should be designated as national important cultural properties.
Both lighthouses are over 100 years old and are the first lighthouses in Shimane Prefecture to be designated as Important Cultural Properties.

Since I saw the news report,  so I made pop-up cards of them.

The first photo is a pop-up card of the Mihonoseki Lighthouse.

The Mihonoseki Lighthouse is the oldest stone lighthouse in the San’in region and was completed in 1898. The shape is following the style of Richard Brunton, a British engineer who came to Japan in the early Meiji period and built lighthouses in various places, the lighthouse has a semi-circular dome on top of a cylindrical tower. It is said that the lighthouse was designed by a French engineer.

When it was first built, it was called “Jizosaki Lighthouse," but since the name “Jizosaki" was found in many places, the name was changed to Mihonoseki Lighthouse in 1935.

The lighthouse has a veranda-like walkway. I wanted to make this passageway as well, so I used different part to assemble the pop-up card.

This part was bent into this shape and glued to the main body.

I also made another pop-up card of the Izumo-Hinomisaki Lighthouse.

Since the shape of the lighthouse is slim, so the blank space of the card is wider. So I made a part of the fence around the lighthouse on the left side, but you would not know it was a fence unless it was explained to you.

Izumo-Hinomisaki Lighthouse was built in 1903 and is the tallest stone lighthouse in Japan at 43.65 meters. When the lighthouse was built, the kanji for “Hinomisaki Lighthouse" was written in a different script, but it was changed to the current kanji in 1935.  
The lighthouse has a double structure, with the outer wall made of stone and the inner wall made of bricks. It was designed by Ayahiko Ishibashi.

Ishibashi’s name appears as an important figure in the history of lighthouses in the Meiji era, so let me describe the general flow of the project.

In the Meiji era, the first Western-style lighthouse in Japan was built by a French engineer named François Léonce Verny (who came to Japan in 1865 and was invited by the Edo shogunate). Among the lighthouses in which Verny was involved, former the Shinagawa Lighthouse, which was moved to Meiji-mura Museum, still exists.

Later, British civil engineer Richard Henry Brunton who came to Japan in 1868 built 28 lighthouses. He is praised as the “father of Japanese lighthouses". He also trained Japanese lighthouse engineers. His interpreter, Fujikura Kentatsu (1851-1934), learned from Brunton while working with him. Fujikura later studied lighthouse construction techniques at the University of Edinburgh.
In 1885, he was appointed as the Director of the Lighthouse Bureau.

Assisting Fujikura was Ayahiko Ishibashi (1853-1932). After graduating from the Civil Engineering Department of the Imperial College of Engineering, Ishibashi went to England to study lighthouse construction technology in 1880, and returned to Japan in 1883. After returning to Japan, he worked for the Ministry of Works and assisted Fujikura.  Later, he succeeded Fujikura as The director of the Beacon Management Bureau (the successor of the Lighthouse Bureau).
It is said that the development of the lighthouse business in the Meiji era was largely due to the efforts of Fujikura and Ishibashi.

**

This time, I made pop-up cards of the two lighthouses because I saw the report that they should be designated as important cultural properties.
The Mihonoseki Lighthouse uses a different part, and the Izumo-Hinomisaki Lighthouse has a wide margin, so neither of them are open to the public as the patterns. The main site will be updated later.

[Reference] (written in Japanese)
* The World of Architectural History Vol. 12: Modern Japan Illuminated by Lighthouses" (Hiroyasu Fujioka, Core Tokyo, January 2021)
* The History of Lighthouses in Japan" (edited by the Lighthouse Department of the Japan Coast Guard, Toko-kai, 1969)