Shioyasaki Lighthouse celebrates 120th anniversary of 1st lighting(塩屋埼灯台120周年祝う)

Visitors take photos of the Shioyasaki Lighthouse in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture.(点灯開始から120周年を迎えた塩屋埼灯台)

 The Shioyasaki Lighthouse, which is fondly called the "Lighthouse of Toyoma" and has long been loved by the local people in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, has marked the 120th anniversary of its first lighting.
 Unveiled during a commemorative ceremony held at the base of the lighthouse on Dec. 15 was an illustration featuring the Shioyasaki Lighthouse, drawn by manga artist Leiji Matsumoto, who has been appointed as a "Rhododendron Ambassador" -- a kind of adviser -- by the prefectural government.


 The illustration depicts a flying train gliding by the lighthouse with Maetel -- a character in Matsumoto's major creation "Galaxy Express 999" -- watching from a distance. Matsumoto also delivered a video message, saying: "The lighthouse is indispensable for people's lives. We are grateful for its 120th anniversary, which is a celebratory occasion."
 The illustration is displayed inside the lighthouse.


 During the ceremony, officials including Iwaki Mayor Toshio Shimizu made speeches. Local students of Toyoma Elementary School and Toyoma Junior High School expressed their gratitude for the lighthouse, saying that it cheers them up like their families do by lighting them up brightly. They also said it is a source of emotional support and indispensable to the people of Toyoma.


 The Shioyasaki Lighthouse, built with the use of Western technology, was first lit on Dec. 15, 1899. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 1938 and in 1940 rebuilt. The lighthouse also suffered damage during the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, but was fully restored and admission of visitors resumed in 2014. The light source of the 27-meter-high lighthouse stands 73 meters above the average sea level.
 The lighthouse is also featured in the hit song "Midaregami," which was sung by legendary Japanese vocalist Hibari Misora.

( Translated by The Japan News )


 【 2019年12月16日付・福島民友新聞掲載 】