Passing down ancient rock layers, mineral resources and disaster memories to the next generation - Minami Sanriku

Kamaishi Mine Ruins (Kamaishi-shi)

Kamaishi Mine (Kamaishi-shi)

Otsuchi-cho, Kamaishi-shi, Sumita-cho, Ofunato-shi, Rikuzentakata-shi, Kesennuma-shi

The southern area is blessed with abundant natural resources. Rich mineral mines have influenced the lives of many people from old times. The gold mined in the Kesen region is said to have supported the Golden Culture of Hiraizumi. There is also the Kamaishi Mine, a leading magnetite in Japan and also a chalcopyrite jackpot. Another thing to note are the limestone mines around Ofunato-shi where raw material for cement is being extracted even today.

Therefore there are many remains of an ancient structure which we cannot separate in talking about history of Japanese mine including Hashino iron ore mountain (Kamaishi-shi) which is the existing Japanese oldest Western style blast furnace trace, and there remains.

Imade-yama Kinzan Gold Mine (Ofunato-shi)

Imade-yama Kinzan Gold Mine (Ofunato-shi)

Hashino Blast Furnace Site (Kamaishi-shi)

Hashino iron ore mountain (Kamaishi-shi)

 

These rich ground layers also have academic values as fossils from the Silurian period (440 million years ago) was for the first time discovered in Japan. It also let researchers observe the entire stratigraphic sequence from the Silurian period to the Triassic period (250 million years ago).

Furthermore, this region suffered the worst of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. To pass it on, local guides are telling their tsunami experiences at the geo-sites, such as; Otsuchi Kozuchi (Otsuchi-cho), Nebama, Usunomai (Kamaishi-shi), Ofunato Bay (Ofunato-shi), Takatamatsubara (Rikuzentakata-shi), Kesennuma Bay (Kesennuma-shi).

Otsuchi Kozuchi (Otsuchi-cho)

Otsuchi Kozuchi (Otsuchi-cho)

Rikuzentakata Story Tour

Rikuzentakata Story Tour

 

The scenery beauty that the ria shore creates

From a geological perspective, scenic sites such as the Goishi Coast and the Karakuwa Peninsula may catch the attention of visitors. The deep coves in the area become natural harbors where complex reefs form and nurture coastal marine life. Please visit to discover what nature has blessed us with and grasp how Earth has repeated its history along with the ever progressing Disaster Preventive / Mitigating town planning.

Dairiseki Coast

The marble shore (Kesennuma-shi)

Advanced talks on Southern Geosites

There are rocks and layers of sediments vastly distributed throughout the southern region. When the Kitakami Mountains used to be a part of the supercontinent, Gondwana, 450 million years ago, Hikami granitic rocks (Rikuzentakata-shi) formed as a result of lava cooling underground. The layers of sediments are considered to have formed after that. The entire collection of vastly scattered sediments are known as the Southern Kitakami Belt. It points to the layers south of Mount Hayachine formed between the Mesozoic period and the Paleozoic period.

These strata had and still have abundant mineral resources. They had the gold that supported the Golden Culture of Hiraizumi, the magnetite that opened Kamaishi Mine to be Japan's leading mine which was also a chalcopyrite jackpot. They are also the provider of raw materials for cement that is still being extracted today from the limestone mines around Ofunato-shi.

Against a backdrop of such a geological feature, left Hashino iron ore mountain (Kamaishi-shi) was still born as the Japanese oldest Western style blast furnace trace. There are also many other ruins that cannot be unspoken of when discussing Japan's mining history.

In the Southern Kitakami Belt, national researchers studying early geology and primeval paleontology have contributed to finding and respected globally, many well preserved fossils in chronological order. Silurian fossil production center (Ofunato-shi) was discovered in the Paleozoic era considered to be the Japanese oldest stratum in those days in 1937 (Showa 12).

When you look at the coastlines with old strata exposed there are ria shorelines known for its complex capes and coves. Among them, the Goishi Coast (Ofunato-shi) and Karakuwa Peninsula (Kesennuma-shi) are the two beautiful and eye pleasing sites. The deep coves in the area become natural harbors where complex reefs form and nurture coastal marine life.

Since this ria coast get narrower and shallower in the inner compared to the bay entrance, it enhances tsunamis in every way. Therefore, the central and southern areas suffered numerous devastating killer waves.

Of all places, the southern area suffered the most from the 2011 disasters, especially by the tsunami. To pass it on, local guides are telling their tsunami experiences at the geo-sites, such as; Otsuchi Kozuchi (Otsuchi-cho), Nebama, Usunomai (Kamaishi-shi), Ofunato Bay (Ofunato-shi), Takatamatsubara (Rikuzentakata-shi), Kesennuma Bay (Kesennuma-shi).