Long ago, Hikone-han, the most powerful fief in Omi Province (modern-day Shiga Prefecture), controlled travel on Lake Biwa. The Ii family, who ruled Hikone, held the hereditary position of chief vassal to the Tokugawa government, and were entrusted with the defense of Kyoto and the responsibility of moving the emperor from Kyoto to Hikone in the event of an emergency. For those purposes, they kept 120 chartered vessels of various types, such as high-speed boats that could travel from Hikone to Kyoto in less than 3 hours, and large boats that could transport groups of foot soldiers. Hikone Yakata Boats were among the many types of boats kept by the Ii daimyo, who used his personal yakata boat to survey his territory, entertain guests from other fiefs or from the Imperial Court, hunt with falcons on the lake, and so on. We recreated this boat using the original dimensions from old diagrams and late Edo Period photos. Now you can enjoy the scenery of Hikone Castle from a yakata boat just as the daimyo once did.

  • #1: Kamonmaru
    Named from the Ii family's nickname, "Kamon-no-kami"
  • #2: Manchiyomaru
    Named from the childhood name of the first Lord of Hikone, Ii Naomasa
  • #3: Chujomaru
    Named after the Ii family's rank in the Tokugawa government: "Sakon'e-chujo"
  • #4: Ryuohmaru
    Named after the Chinese-derived reading of Ii Naosuke's pen name, "Yagiwa-no-ya"