Yugawa Stone Quarry

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Background

This area is also called Nakanosawa (中ノ沢), Wariishi (割石), or the Southern Usami Quarries, depending on the source. It is technically two different daimyo quarries that are grouped together in this close area, but they are obviously separate as you can tell both from the markings and the grouping on the map of photos below.

Nakanosawa(中ノ沢) The main section of this quarry is on private property back behind a potter's home. My friend had made a few attempts over the years to get permission to enter and I was fortunate to be invited along. The city occasionally does tours of the site too. There are some leavings and ya-ana stones, but the most interesting feature is several areas with kokuin marked stones neatly lined up and ready for transporting  away. Following the stream about 500m up the valley there are about 200 stones with kokuin and most of them are gathered in groups of 5-10 stones. All of the stones here have the same circle with a dot in the middle (referred to as the  蛇の目 janome or snake eye kokuin in Japanese) and the quarry is attributed to Matsudaira Sadayuki by historical records. At the beginning of the quarry is also a large stone with a flat face cut into it. It is thought that it once had the quarry owners name engraved on it but it has weathered away over the years. There is a stone cut very similarly with the quarry owner's named carved into it at the Chubarikubo Stone Quarry (unvisited) too.

Wariishi (割石) The part nearer the ocean, is sometimes also called Nakanosawa, but is obviously a different quarry and entirely different kokuin. It has only a few stones left, but they are in great condition and anyone should be able to see them, if you know where to look. They were well hidden in weeds when I visited. There are 2 excellently carved kokuin on each stone, indicating it was likely the daimyo's kokuin and another indicating the quarry or a retainer in charge of the quarry.  There is also a large corner stone at a sweets shop a few kilometers away with this same set of kokuin. It's a mystery how or why it got here.

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Yugawa Stone Quarry Profile
English Name Yugawa Stone Quarry
Japanese Name 湯川石丁場
Location Ito, Shizuoka Prefecture
Castle Edo Castle
Coordinates 34° 59' 40.45" N, 139° 4' 21.43" E
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Edo Castle Stone Quarries


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