Sado Bugyosho (office of the Magistrate) and walk in Aikawa

Sado Bugyosho (office of the Magistrate) and walk in Aikawa

[ Aug.2016 ] There was a gold/silver mine in Sado Island, Japan, which supported the economy of the Edo Shogunate.

We wanted to see the tunnel of the mine and went up to the entrance, but the sign said that the temperature inside was 10 degrees centigrade.

We had to give up because we were wearing summer clothing.

We should have prepared.

When we came down from the mountain, we came across the ruin of Sado Bugyosho (the office of the magistrate), so we decided to have a look.

The current building was restored in 2000 based on excavated evidence and drawings from the 19th century.

Originally, the Bugyosho was built in 1603, two years after the discovery of the gold mine.

Because of the gold mine, Sado Island was governed directly by the Shogunate.

We could see the main house and Seriba, the factory where they selected gold from the minerals.

Two women gave us detailed explanations of each place.

The main house functioned as a town hall, a police office, a court and the headquarters of the gold mine.

It was quite similar to the one we saw fairly recently in Hida Takayama.

The Seriba was very interesting.

Here they broke the minerals into pieces and extracted gold and silver from them.

There were many pieces of equipment whose functions were totally unknown to us until the guide explained.

I cannot remember the details of the procedures, but what I remember is that they sifted the minerals again and again, so that absolutely none of the gold or silver was wasted.

The gold mine here was the biggest in Japan, but only two gold coins made from the Sado gold have been discovered.

She said that probably the Sado gold was used for diplomatic purposes and sent away overseas.

And I was surprised to hear that only 5 grams of gold can be extracted from 1 ton of the minerals.

We were so interested in the Seriba that we spent longer here than expected and finally when we went out, the rain had stopped.

So we walked around the old streets of Aikawa.

The main attractions were the bell tower which was used as a clock in the Edo Era, and the brick wall of an old court and so on.

Maybe because of the typhoon, the street was almost deserted and the atmosphere was nice and quiet.

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