Hinan-bune (evacuation boat)

Hinan-bune (evacuation boat)

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In areas troubled by frequent floods, as in the example of the Narusegawa-kahan House, people had a boat ready to safely evacuate their family. Such boats were called hinan-bune (evacuation boat) or yojin-bune (boat for precaution).
Using traditional techniques and rituals, this boat was built by an elderly boat carpenter who lived in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture. It is considered very precious today.
The principal rituals performed during the boat’s construction were as follows:

Shikihajime (starting ceremony)

The material that would constitute the shiki (bottom of the boat) was put on the workbench. Offerings were placed on the material, and both the boat carpenter and the owner prayed for the safety and success of the work.

uneosame (delivery ceremony)

This ritual was performed when the boat builder delivered the completed boat to the owner. This ceremony took the form of a wedding reception, comparing the boat to the boat builder’s daughter as if he were to marry her to the boat owner.