Shiriyazaki Lighthouse

Shiriyazaki Lighthouse (尻屋埼灯台, Shiriyazaki tōdai?) is a lighthouse located on the outermost extremity of Cape Shiriyazaki, the northeastern-most point of Honshu, in Higashidōri, Aomori Prefecture, Japan.

The Shiriyazaki Lighthouse was one of the 26 lighthouses built in Meiji period Japan by British engineer Richard Henry Brunton. The lighthouse was completed on October 20, 1876 (after Brunton had departed from Japan), and was the first western-style lighthouse in the Tohoku region of Japan. On November 20, 1877, a fog bell was installed due to the high incidence of fogs and days of poor visibility in the area. This was the first fog bell in Japan, but the sound proved to be too weak, so on December 20, 1879 it was replaced by a fog horn. This was the first fog horn in Japan. Other noteworthy events include the installation of the first electric power generator for a lighthouse in Japan in 1901.

In 1945, during World War II, Shiriyazaki Lighthouse was bombarded by United States Navy warships, cracking its Fresnel lens and causing severe damage to its structure, killing its attendant. However, the following year, on several occasions, fishermen reported being able to see a light in the ruined lighthouse, which enabled them to land safely despite a deep fog. However, when authorities investigated, they found that the stairs were blocked with rubble and the light room was completely destroyed. A temporary light was installed from August 1946, and the rumors ceased. The light was repaired and went back into operation in 1951.

The Shiriyazaki Lighthouse is registered with the Japanese government as an “A-grade Lighthouse” for historic preservation and is listed as one of the “50 Lighthouses of Japan” by the Japan Lighthouse Association.