Sunday, August 21, 2011
Nirayama reverberatory furnace in Izonokuni city in the Shizuoka prefecture, are the remains of the furnace build by the izu magistrate Egawa Tarezaemon in 1854 at end of the edo period, to cast cannons.
At the end of the edo period, Japan closed its port to foreign countries, as a result, many countries tried to force the opening of its ports. To protect the country from these attacks, Japan developed a costal defense, with a large number of cannons required for this. Many furnaces were built to manufacture the required cannons, with only two remaining to this day, the one in Nirayama and other in Hagi, with the Nirayama one being the only one retaining most of its original form.
The reverberatory furnace was built following a Dutch design. The quality of the refractory bricks and the sophistication is said to be comparable to today’s blast furnaces. The furnance has been designated a national historical site.
Large and small cannons were cast here to be used, mainly for the Edo bay defense. The Odaiba artillery was built at this furnace.
The site is next to a small stream, tea field and factory (this being Shizuoka after all) giving a peaceful background for a site with such industrious past.
View Nirayama Furnace in a larger map