From the end of the Edo era until the Meiji period, there was a tradition held by young masses where they would build places to stay at within the many villages across the Hata district.
These “Tomariya” or the Hata district where all single houses built in raised-floor-style. Hundreds of them were established. The Tomariya were also known as “Yagura”, and they are believed to have originated from the watchtowers built to keep guard when each village had its own territory during the Warring States period. Because of this, many of them are built at the entrance of villages and on their center areas.
Many young, unmarried people would use these spots to pass the night, carry out festivals or events, help with the functions and management of the village, and in general become a place of social intercourse. This made them a central point of activity for the newer generations.
However, from the closing years of the Meiji era and until the Taisho period, they were either rebuilt as public one-story houses or destroyed with the intention of preserving public morals. Because of this, only 4 Tomariya remain within Sukumo city’s Yoshina in the present day. Due to them being a valuable source for researching the customs of the young people of past times, they were designated as a national important tangible folk property.
Hamada no Tomariya is 2 bays long and 2 bays wide. It is a wooden raised-floor-style one-story house with a hipped tiled-roof. The pillars are made with natural wood from chestnut trees, which give personality and emphasize the architecture from the end of the Edo era. Under the floor, several of the lifting stones used by the youngsters for their amusement or training still remain to this day. We would certainly like you to experience the remains of the social exchanges that occurred night after night between these young men who competed to carry the weight of said stones back in those days.