Shimada City Museum, Shimada, Japan

There is an old Japanese song that ”even for a horse that can pass the Hakone mountains, it is difficult to cross the Oi River”. The Oi River was a difficult point of the Old Tokaido Highway, and it costs very much for travelers to cross the river. On the other hand, Shimada station of the Old Tokaido Highway was crowded with the people waiting for the allowance of the river crossing. Although the closed river was troublesome for travelers, the town of Shimada developed by this closed river, and this may be said as ”the culture of the closed river”. The regular exhibition of this museum features ”travel and travelers” under the question ”why do people travel?”, and introduces the history and culture of Shimada city, illustrating the scenes of the Oi River, Shimada station and the river crossing. There are occasional special exhibitions on the second floor.

Shimada City Museum is humanities museum that exhibits and publishes materials on the history of the Oi River, the system of River-Crossing and Shimada Inn.

Shimada-Juku was crowded with travelers who could not cross the Oi River because of Kawadome (a rule prohibiting the crossing of the river when the water level was too high due to rain fall). Kawadome often forced travelers to stay in Shimada-Juku for up to 28 days. Their stay promoted the development and culture of Shimada-Juku. They can call it “The Kawadome Culture”.

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The theme of Shimada City Museum is “Travel and Travelers”. One can see the history and culture of Shimada in the late part of the Edo Period on the first floor. One can enjoy the various temporary exhibitions on the second floor.

On the first floor, there is a permanent exhibition room. There, Oi River in the late Edo period which was busting with travelers, Shimada Inn and the way of River-Crossing. Also, on the second floor, there is a special exhibition room. It has the art works created by the litterateurs and artists who were linked by the history or culture of Shimada City.

There is Site of Shimada Inn, Oi River River-Crossing Ruins officially-designated historical site on the east side of this museum. And there is an annex along the site which is composed of the Japanese houses built in the Meiji era, the memorial museum of Unno Mitsuhiro and the museum of folklore. You can view works of the other woodblock artist; Unno Mitsuhiro and other artists on special exhibition.

Exhibition introduction

Diorama vision
In the Diorama Vision, we are introducing how the people were traveling and the Kawagoe system through the two main characters moving around Shimada Inn, Hatagoya and the river hall in the latter part of the Edo period.

Shimada Festival Corner
Shimada Grand Festival is a ceremonial shrine of Oi Shrine continuing from the Genroku year, counted as one of Japan ‘s Sanni Festival. Among them, the great guy who lowered the beautiful round band to Kintaro was welcomed at the permanent exhibition hall, which is why he was also called a festival. At the footstep, we exhibit paper dolls that reproduce Shimada Great Festival’s Shinto shrine matrix and Kashima Dance.

Sword-wrought corner
Shimada Inn is also famous for swordsmith, and many swordmakers have kept eaves. The Shimada Kaigi group has a history of about 400 years from the Muromachi period to the end of the Edo period, and its sword called “Shimada thing” is highly appreciated by many warlords such as Imperial, Takeda and Tokugawa of Sengoku Daimyo, and is prized It was done. Especially, Yoshimasu, Suikoshi etc. have many famous items left.

Shimada Shinzaki corner
Shimada Akira is said to have been invented by Shigeru Tiger. Shimada Kami has also been introduced to Kyoto and Edo, and there are various variations. At the museum there are permanent exhibits of several varieties of Shimada Ko. On the 3rd Sunday of September every year, women wearing Yamato who wearing Yamato in a row are walking in Shimada city while dancing in dedication dance, they are considered to be Bodhi Temple before Tiger A memorial service Thanksgiving is held at Udaji.