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LastUpDate: March 8, 2018
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Hakata Culture vol.133


Strolling through the Nanohana on Nokonoshima

Strolling through the Nanohana on Nokonoshima

Just a 10-minute trip from the ferry port in Meinohama sits Nokonoshima. Many people like to visit this island, which is considered part of Nishi Ward, to get out of the city and enjoy nature. Nokonoshima Island Park, on the northern side of the island, is famous for its seasonal flower fields, and the nanohana (“field mustard" in English) goes into full bloom from late February until early April. On a clear day, you can enjoy a panoramic view of Hakata Bay from Shikanoshima to Uminonakamichi beyond the bright yellow fields.


After nanohana season, you can enjoy azaleas and marigolds as well as several other spring flowers, including cherry blossoms (late March ~ early April) and colorful poppies and Livingstone daisies, which bloom until early May. With summer comes the sunflowers, followed by cosmos and daffodils in fall.


References to Nokonoshima can be found in historical records dating back to the Nara period (710-794 AD), and it is home to the Sota Tumulus Cluster, which dates back to around the 7th century. The Man'yōshū, which also dates back to the Nara period and is considered Japan’s oldest collection of poetry, contains poems written by sakimori (border guards) who lived on the island and kenshiragishi, Japanese envoys who sailed to Silla (an ancient kingdom on the Korean peninsula) via Hakata Bay. Later, the island flourished as a stopping point for large wooden cargo ships, and it was a popular deer hunting spot for the members of the Fukuoka Domain during the Edo period (1603-1868 AD). Today, you can still see remnants of the stone walls used to keep deer out of farmers’ fields, and fishing and farming are still the main industries of Nokonoshima.


When you visit the island, it feels like time slows down. One person who loved Nokonoshima and its laid-back vibe was the novelist and poet Kazuo Dan. He moved there in his later years and lived there until he passed away in 1976. There is a monument dedicated to him on the island, and on the third Sunday of every May, a flower-laying ceremony is held in his honor. You can also visit the Nokonoshima Museum to see a display of documents detailing the island’s history and the remains of a Noko ware kiln.



 

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菜の花が満開の能古島を散策

 福岡市姪浜の渡船場からフェリーで約10分。博多湾に浮かぶ能古島は、都心のすぐ近くにありながら豊かな自然が楽しめる場所として市民に人気があります。島の北部にある「のこのしまアイランドパーク」は季節の花の名所として知られ、2月下旬から4月上旬にかけては菜の花が満開になります。晴れた日には黄色い菜の花畑ごしに、志賀島から海の中道まで博多湾を一望することができます。


 「のこのしまアイランドパーク」では、菜の花に続いて次々に春の花が咲きます。3月下旬から4月にかけてはサクラと菜の花を一緒に楽しむことができるし、色鮮やかなポピーやリビングストンデイジーは5月上旬まで咲き続けます。菜の花が終わればツツジやマリーゴールドの出番です。さらに夏のヒマワリ、秋のコスモス、冬のスイセンの美しさも有名です。


 能古島は奈良時代から歴史に登場する歴史ある島で、7世紀前後につくられた早田古墳群があります。7~8世紀にかけて編纂された「万葉集」には、島に滞在していた防人や、博多湾を航海する遣新羅使が島のことを詠んだ歌が収められています。近世に入ると廻船業で栄え、江戸時代には福岡藩の鹿狩りの場とされていました。そのなごりの鹿垣も残されています。


 現在の能古島は漁業と農業が中心で、島全体にゆったりのどかな時間が流れています。この島の雰囲気を愛した作家が檀一雄。晩年に能古島に移り住み、福岡で生涯を終えました。島には檀一雄の文学碑が立てられ、毎年5月の第3日曜日には檀一雄をしのぶ「花逢忌」が行われています。また能古博物館には島の歴史を伝える資料が展示され、敷地内には能古焼の窯跡が残されています。