Nakagawa Funabansho Barge Museum 中川船番所資料館 /江東区中川船番所資料館

Nakagawa Funabansho Museum (Barge/Ship Guard Station) 中川船番所資料館 /江東区中川船番所資料館

  • 中川船番所資料館 / 〒136-0072 東京都江東区大島9-1-15
  • TEL 03-3636-9091 FAX 03-3636-9094
  • 9 Chome-1-15 Ojima, Koto-ku, Tokyo, Japan 136-0072
  • Link to Google maps

For a small museum this place packs a lot in. Exhibits are entirely in Japanese with English headings on some of the topics. There are many maps, photos, and diagrams to keep the non-Japanese reader interested. The main room upstairs includes a replica of a fisherman’s hut and a fishing boat, with a large floor to ceiling mural of life in pre-industrial Koto-ku. I give it four stars from the perspective of an English speaker but would probably bump it up to 5 if I could read the exhibit text.

Interior Mural: Nakagawa Funabansho Museum

Background information from the museum website:

“The majority of Koto-ku 江東区は sits on reclaimed land built up since the Edo period 江戸時代 . Many canals were dug along with the landfill construction and these canals have made a big impact on the industry and culture of Koto-ku. The Fukagawa Waterway Station 深川口人改之御番所, whose function was to check waterway-bound trades, originally stood by the Onagigawa waterway at the mouth of the Sumida river, however it was relocated to the point where the Nakagawa 中川, Onagigawa canal 小名木川, and Funahorigawa 船堀川 waterways meet. It became the Nakagawa Waterway Station 中川番所 in 1661.  The station checked people and goods brought by barges into Edo; this included monitoring the flow of weapons to identify potential wars against the Shogunate 将軍.  The station also checked the flow of women leaving Edo, as the Shogunate would take hostage the wife of each feudal lord (daimyo 大名) in Edo and forbid her from going home.”

The exact location of the Nakagawa Station 中川番所 was at the present day address of Tōkyō-to, Kōtō-ku, Ōjima, 9丁目1江東区大島9丁目1番地 (map).  The museum is 50 meters north of this location and presents the history of trade and human activities, mainly through the story of Nakagawa Waterway Station, itself established in the Edo period, but also through the waterways of the Kanto plane and beyond.

Museum website:

Within a 5-minute walk of the museum:

Site of the old Nakagawa Waterway Station, across the water on the right bank

Higashiojima Station 東大島駅

Arakawa Lock Gate / floodgate – protecting Koto-ku from the Arakawa

By the entrance of the Arakawa Lock Gate

English information guide from the museum

Terminology:

  • 中川ミュージアム 青山
  • 中川船番所 Nakagawa ship guard station
  • 中川船番所資料館 Nakagawa ship guard station museum
  • 船番所 江東区 Ship guard station Koto
  • 江東区 中川船番所 Koto Nakagawa ship guard station
  • 船番所 英語 Ship guard station English
  • Nakagawa Funabansho Museum Tokyo
  • 番所 Guard station (bansho)
  • 船番所 ship guard station (fune bansho)

Other:

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