In the Seto Inland Sea, there are many islands scattered around, and the “Murakami pirates” were active in the Geiyo Islands where the current swirled. It is said that they dominated key points of maritime traffic and lived a cultural life. What is the real appearance of Murakami pirates, different from the “pirates” we imagine?!
Were you keeping the ocean safe?
Active as a maritime guard!
The Murakami pirates were active on the islands of the Seto Inland Sea. That subsistence was far from the word “pirate”. It was a group that protected the safety of the sea by setting up checkpoints at important points on the sea and dispatching water guides and maritime guards. It was once called the “sea lord”, and the unique sea castle still remains today.
Particularly famous is Nojima Castle, which was the stage of “Murakami Kaizoku no musume” (Murakami Pirate's Daughter) which won the Grand Prize at the 2014 Honya Awards.
The area around the Shimanami Kaido is dotted with places related to Murakami pirates, so be sure to visit if you are interested.
[Featured column] Japan Heritage
certified by the Agency for Cultural Affairs (Japan Heritage)
“Geiyo Islands, the home of “Japan's greatest pirates” -Memories of Murakami KAIZOKU, reviving Murakami KAIZOKU-” has been certified as a Japan Heritage site.
Were they good wariors ?
Demonstrating outstanding power in naval warfare
In the Sengoku period, there were three Murakami families based on the three islands of Innoshima, Noshima, and Kurushima. They demonstrated outstanding abilities in battles at sea and transporting provisions, etc., and expanded their power by joining hands with influential daimyo (Japanese feudal lords).
They were famous for the successful“First Battle of Kizugawaguchi,” which won the convoy of Nobunaga Oda in 1576. It is said that the superior way of fighting of the Murakami pirates was transmitted in the naval warfare book “Murakami Boat Battle Law”.
The novelist Shiba Ryotaro even used this book as a reference for the creation of the main character of his novel “Clouds on the Hill” during the Battle of the Sea of Japan.
Were they people of culture and literature ?
A side of a cultured people who is surprisingly unknown
Murakami pirates are cultural people with a high level of education. As proof of this, it is said that they dedicated “Horaku Renga (poem dedicate to a deity)” that they composed by their own thoughts to the venerable “Oyamazumi Shrine,” known as the total guardian of Japan, and prayed for military luck.
Even now, in Innoshima, the “Mukuura no Horaku Dance”, a danced to pray for victory when the navy departs, is still being handed down.
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