10.The Wooden Seated Statues of Feudal Lords from the Asano Family
The irihama salt farm in Higashihama was developed by three generations of feudal lords from Ako’s Asano family. Wooden seated statues of these three lords (Naganao, Nagatomo, and Naganori) are enshrined in Kojo-ji Temple, which is located in the Shinden area of Ako. Based on the technique used to make them and the way the men are represented, the statues for Naganao, the first feudal lord, and Nagatomo, the second feudal lord, are thought to have been made at roughly the same time. The statue for Naganori, the third feudal lord, is thought to have been made at a different time, but all are presumed to have been made in the second half of the 18th century by Buddhist statue sculptors from Kyoto. Together, they have been designated as a Tangible Cultural Property of Ako City. The Shinden area was developed by Asano Naganao, who oversaw the construction of waterworks leading to the area. He is known affectionately as “Takumi-san,” and on August 24, the anniversary of his death, the local people hold a Buddhist memorial service that has been carefully passed down over the generations.