Regional Cultural Asset Portal

Suzu City , Ishikawa Related category:
Agehamashiki Salt Production    

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Entire story: 16 minutes
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Agehamashiki (a salt production method whereby sea water is brought manually to a salt pond) is a term in salt production corresponding to irihamashiki (a method utilizing the tide) and is said to be the worlds oldest method of producing salt. In the feudal period, salt production was encouraged as one of the most important products of Kaga Domain and a monopoly was established in 1627. Not counting one temporary hiatus, the monopoly continued until 1871. In the Suzu area, salt production had been the major industry since the Edo period, but it was terminated in 1959 due to the Extraordinary Measures Law for Salt Industries. Only Kakuhanake (the preservation society for the agehamashiki salt production in Noto area) has been passing on the traditional technology, despite numerous difficulties. Beginning with the preparation of the enden (the sandy salt field), and following through the shiokumi (carrying sea water to the enden), which demands extremely hard physical labor, the shiomaki (scattering sea water onto the sand), the construction of the nui (filter), around-the-clock kamadaki (boiling) at the extreme heat of 60 degrees centigrade - the technology for this whole series of tasks can only be found here and is a very valuable cultural heritage. This activity was designated an Intangible Folk Cultural Property by Ishikawa Prefecture on April 8, 1992.

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