formerly the Naganuma residence
prefecturally-designated cultural property
Marudai Ougiya is a tangible cultural property designated by Yamagata Prefecture. Please be considerate and cooperate when visiting.
Smoking is not allowed in the facility.
Please do not destroy, damage, or deface the building.
In principle, eating and drinking are prohibited.
Please take all trash home with you.
Marudai-Ogiya, the trade name of the Naganuma family, started at Tokamachi, Nagai City, more than 380 years ago and was in business for generations. The family first traded in daily goods and others, and later became rich by selling kimono.
The buildings in the estate were first designated as cultural property by Nagai City in 1991, repaired, and then designated by Yamagata Prefecture in 2003. All the seven buildings are preserved. One of them is a miso kura, an earthen warehouse where miso was made and stored. Attached to a pillar inside the warehouse is a talisman with words of protection inscribed on it dated back to the 3rd year of Tenpo (year 1832). They are valuable, showing life of a merchant family in the later Edo period through the Meiji and Taisho Eras. You can see some tableware and tools of the times, and a system* making use of a waterway.
This estate of Marudai-Ogiya is also the birthplace of the sculptor Kozo Naganuma and a sculpture gallery of his works was built in the corner of the property.
*Some merchant estates in Nagai had a waterway which redirected a stream through their estate. Water was drawn into the kitchen sink, where tableware and food were washed, then into a pond, where carp were raised, and finally the water flowed back to the stream.
Shipping through the Mogami River
Nagai became a gateway to the Yonezawa territory, the domain of the Uesugi family, in the Edo period. As a lot of merchant families came to live here, this area expanded and flourished. They shipped goods through the Mogami River, which runs through Nagai City, and along the east-to-west sea route* to Kyoto and Osaka. They actively traded and achieved great wealth.
One of those merchant families was Marudai-Ogiya, which was in the kimono business. It started when Chuemon Naganuma the First moved from a nearby village to the estate in Nagai City as it is known today and opened a shop around 1640.
* It is a sea route which the coasting vessels of the Edo period used to transport goods from northeast Japan through the Tsugaru and Kanmon straits, on the Sea of Japan, to Osaka on the Inland Sea. One of the ports of call along this route was Sakata, which is at the mouth of the Mogami River.