Chronology of the Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine

Period Year Events
Kamakura 1309 Iwami Ginzan reportedly discovered (Ginzan Kyuki).
Muromachi Warring States 1526 Merchant Kamiya Jutei of Hakata rediscovers Iwami Ginzan (Ginzan Kyuki).
1528 Ouchi Yoshitaka completed construction of Yataki Castle and takes control of the Iwami mines (Ginzan Kyuki).
1531 Ogasawara Clan of Kawamoto takes possession of the mine (Ginzan Kyuki).
1533 The technique of silver refining by cupellation is introduced to the Iwami mines and filters through to other mines around the country (from historical records). Ouchi Clan captures the mine (Ginzan Kyuki).
1556-
1562
Struggle over the mine develops between the Mori and Amako clans, which eventually ends in favor of the Mori Clan.
1568 "Silver Mine Kingdom" drawn on a map by Portuguese cartographer Fernan Buez Drad.
Azuchi- Momoyama 1585 Toyotomi Hideyoshi appointed Chief Advisor to the Emperor. Joint control of the mine by the Mori and Toyotomi clans.
1600 Tokugawa Shogunate gains possession of the mine after the Battle of Sekigahara.
1601 Okubo Nagayasu appointed the First Commissioner.
1602 Annual silver production reaches 15 tons.
Edo 1603 Yasuhara Bicchu pays 13.5 tons of silver as annual business taxes and is granted an audience with Tokugawa Ieyasu.
1624 Total silver output begins to fall (8.2 tons per year).
1673-
1682
Total silver output further decreases (10 year average: 980 kilos).
1675 Iwami Ginzan downgraded to become subject to governance by the Magistrate.
1731 Ido Heizaemon assumes post of Magistrate.
1733 Sweet potato growing encouraged. Ido Heizaemon passes away.
1766 500 stone Buddhist statues (25 years in the making) and Rakanji Temple are completed.
1800 The majority of Omori burns down in the Great Fire. The following year the House of the Kumagai Family is rebuilt.
1815 Reconstruction of the Omori Magistrate's Office.
Meiji 1869 Omori Prefecture established (August 1869 - January 1870)
1872 Hamada Earthquake results in tunnel collapses. Some of the 500 stone Buddhist statues in the Rakanji Temple are also destroyed.
1886 Fujita-gumi of Osaka establish the Omori mines and commence operations the following year.
1895 Shimizudani Refinery completed.
1896 Shimizudani Refinery closes down and operations are shifted to the Eikyu Refinery. Production shifts to copper.
Taisho 1917 Production is stepped up with increased demand in line with World War One (Silver 4.2t, Copper 477t).
1923 A slump in business resulting from falling copper prices in the wake of World War One brings the mine to a close.
Showa 1939 Fujita-gumi Corporation considers re-opening the mines in line with the 1938 Mining Act.
1942-
1943
Attempts at copper mining fail due to severe flooding resulting in equipment loss and flooding of the mines.
1956 Omori Town merged with Oda City.
1967 Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine Ruins designated a historic site by the Prefectural Government.
1969 Fourteen sites (including the remains of the Magistrate's Office, Ryugenji Mabu) are designated as historic sites by the National Government.
1987 Streets of Omori and Ginzan are selected as an Important Historic Buildings Preservation District by the National Government.
Heisei 1993 Oda City starts excavation of the Ishigane District. Remains of mining, refining and other remnants are discovered.
1996 Joint study of the Ishigane District by Shimane Prefecture and Oda City started.
2001 Inscribed on Tentative List of UNESCO World Heritage (April).
2002 Iwami Ginzan Site designated as a historic site by National Government (March).
2004 Landscape conservation regulations established in Oda City, Yunotsu Town and Nima Town (July).
Streets of Yunotsu selected as an Important Historic Buildings Preservation District by the National Government (July).
2005 Iwami Ginzan Site designated as a Mining Prohibition Zone (January).
Iwami Ginzan Kaido (Tomogaura-do, Yunotsu Okidomari-do), Miyanomae District of Omori Town are designated as historic sites by the National Government (March).
Ginzan Sakunouchi, Gohyakurakan, Rakanji Temple, Tomogaura, Okidomari are designated as historic sites by the National Government (July).
The towns of Yunotsu and Nima are merged into Oda City (October).
2006 Nomination Dossier submitted to UNESCO (January).
On-site mission by ICOMOS.
2007 Recommendation for メdeferralモ given by ICOMOS (May).
Officially registered on the World Heritage List (July).

 

 

PDF


acrobat

PAGE TOP