Area5 SAGA

The former (1858-71) ship repair and shipbuilding yard at Mietsu is one of Japan's pioneer Westernstyle maritime facilities. Most of the site is located in the present-day Riverside Park, Hayatsue, Kawasoe-machi, on the southern outskirts of Saga City, Saga Prefecture. The site, much of it a buried structure, lies on the western bank of a 90° meander in the Hayatsue River, a tributary channel of the Chikugo River (the largest river in Kyushu) near its mouth, just over 6 km north of the northern shore of the Ariake Sea. Mietsu had been a mooring facility, with warehouses, since at least the latter half of the eighteenth century and the Ofunate-Keikosho (training centre) was expanded as a training facility for operating Western style ships in 1858. The property is clearly identifiable today from historic picture maps and has not been compromised by modern development pressure, most of the site being covered by sedimentary soil about 60-100 cm thick (lying only 3.0 m above sea level) since its abandonment in 1933 as a campus for the Saga Maritime Academy for commercial shipping. Excavation was carried out in 2001-03 and again, in 2009-12. Archaeological investigation is backed by original archive material in the possession of Nabeshima Houkoukai Foundation and others.

  • Mietsu Naval Dock