Cyclical Medium – Remembering the Horiuchi Family

Azumi Setoda invites Kazuomi Eshima and Masahiko Takeda (Laatry) to present a sound installation titled “Cyclical Medium – Remembering the Horiuchi Family” that touches on the history of Ikuchishima and the Horiuchi family.

Since the opening of Azumi Setoda, Laatry has conducted research on Ikuchi Island through conversations with the islanders and sampling of “sounds” unique to the island. This project is an attempt to recall the memories of Ikuchi Island and the Horiuchi family that they encountered in the “soundscape.

In “Geihan Tsushi”, a book compiled in 1875 based on a survey of the cultural climate of Aki Province, it is stated that the residents of Setoda Town on Ikuchi Island were engaged in commerce, fishing, salt production, and marine transport. Among the salt-producing regions of the Seto Inland Sea, the salt produced on the Geyo Islands (islands along the present-day Shimanami Kaido) is known as “Bingo Salt,” and Setoda in particular was one of the leading salt-producing areas in Japan for several hundred years from the Heian Period to the 1960s.

Early Modern Irihama-style salt production photographed in Setoda

Setoda also developed greatly as an important port of call on the “Nishimawari Passage,” a trade route using wooden sailing ships at a time when the sea was the main artery of distribution rather than land.

Taking advantage of the tidal currents unique to the Seto Inland Sea, the route brought charcoal fuel and ceramics from Kitakyushu, which were transshipped at Setoda into cargo, mainly salt, and continued on to the capital. During the Edo period, Setouchi was responsible for more than 80% of the nation’s salt production, and nearly 30% of that production was via Setoda, which shows how prosperous the area was.

Many of the vessels that have been passed down in the Horiuchi family from generation to generation are thought to have come across the sea from Kitakyushu.

Now that we live in a society that has changed to a car-driven society and rapidly advancing science and technology, it is impossible for us to see such a grand tale with our own eyes.

“Cyclical Medium – Reminiscences of the Horiuchi Family” recalls the geographical advantage of Ikuchi Island and the time when the Horiuchi family’s business was connected to other parts of Japan through the sea. Environmental sounds and folk materials sampled on the island are placed throughout Azumi Setoda, and through what you suddenly see and the sounds that change as you walk around, you will be able to feel through all five senses the days of the Horiuchi family, who were once active as “Hamadanna” (salt farm owners) and “shipowners” of Kitamae-ship.

A view of the making of a wooden boat “oar,” one of the few in the country today

This exhibition is an attempt to look at the former Horiuchi residence “Azumi Setoda” as a medium for conveying the history and culture of Ikuchishima, and to turn our gaze toward the memories of the land.
We invite you to spend a quiet time in the museum, touching on distant memories.

<Cyclical Medium – Reminiscences of the Horiuchi Family>
Date: Saturday, June 17 and Sunday, June 18, 2023, 10:00-22:00
Venue:Azumi Setoda garden, pavilion, 2nd floor lounge|yubune, 2nd floor yuagari
Artist:Kazuomi Eshima and Masahiko Takeda (Laatry)
Organized by: Azumi Setoda In cooperation with: Onomichi City Cultural Promotion Division, Onomichi City Board of Education
*Guests staying at Azumi Setoda and yubune are free to visit.
Please note that during the dinner hours, the tour may be restricted.
*If you are not staying at Azumi Setoda or yubune and would like to visit, you can only visit from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.
Please contact the person in charge in advance. (Contact: Takahashi)