Originally, the Former Kanenotsuru-misaki Lighthouse was the first reef sign to be installed on top of a reef in the Kanmon Straits. It initially was 20 feet (approx. 6 meters) high with a base diameter of 8 feet (approx. 2.5 meters), and was painted black and white. On top was a globe of 3 feet (approx. 90 centimeters) in diameter. It functioned as a navigation guidepost. Just like Hesaki Lighthouse and Mutsurejima Lighthouse, Richard Henry Brunton was in charge of the design. This reef sign was dismantled and reconstructed into Kanenotsuru-misaki Lighthouse. It measures 8.41 meters from the upper part of the concrete foundation to the top of the iron lantern. It hads a lightning rod and stainless-steel guardrail installed after construction. The Japan Coast Guard shut down its function as a lighthouse in June 2000, and it became the property of Shimonoseki City in 2003. The technology for managing lamplights advanced, and in 1890 the reef sign was modified into a gas beacon lit day and night. It was the second time in Japan that a daytime light was switched to a light lit day and night. Later, the gas beacon was removed due to improvement work in the straits, and the lighthouse was dismantled and reconstructed using stone materials to become the lighthouse standing where it is today. Actually, it was unknown until recently that a Meiji reef sign re-used as a lighthouse even existed. Researching materials retained by the Japan Coast Guard clarified that first a reef sign indicating shallow waters in the straits was created, then a light was placed on that reef sign, and then it was relocated/reconstructed into a lighthouse. One of the 2 lighthouses that were originally reef signs had to be removed because it stood at key site for ship routes. A study conducted when it was dismantled revealed information on its initial construction, its modification into a gas beacon, and construction techniques when it was moved/rebuilt in the Taisho era (1912–1926). It illustrates the process of Japanese technicians learning technology introduced from overseas and expanding that technology. Based on those records, the Former Kanenotsuru-misaki Lighthouse was designated a tangible cultural property by Shimonoseki City. This lighthouse’s 100 years of history that had been forgotten by the people finally came to light in the 1990s. Though it has been improvedrenovated and/relocated, this is the only lighthouse of the 3 modern reef signs first built in Japan that still exists today.
Address：Hikoshima Kanenotsuru, Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Other/Notifications：Closed to the public.
Category: Constituent cultural properties
Genre: Story 2