Mizunokojima Lighthouse

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Mizunokojima Lighthouse
Mizunoko Sima
Saiki mizunokojima.jpg
Mizunokojima Lighthouse seen in May 2009
Mizunokojima Lighthouse is located in Japan
Mizunokojima Lighthouse
Location Bungo Channel
Coordinates 33°02′37.8″N 132°10′36.3″E / 33.043833°N 132.176750°E / 33.043833; 132.176750Coordinates: 33°02′37.8″N 132°10′36.3″E / 33.043833°N 132.176750°E / 33.043833; 132.176750
Year first constructed 1904
Automated 1986
Construction stone tower
Tower shape cylindrical tower with balcony and lantern
Markings / pattern white and black bands tower, white lantern
Height 39.25 metres (128.8 ft)
Focal height 56.3 metres (185 ft)
Light source solar power
Intensity 1,200,000 cd
Range 20 nautical miles (37 km; 23 mi)
Characteristic Fl W 10s.[1]
Admiralty number M4912
NGA number 10464
ARLHS number JPN-369
Japan number JCG-5701
Managing agent Japan Coast Guard[2]

Mizunokojima Lighthouse (水ノ子島灯台 Mizunokojima Tōdai?) is an active lighthouse located in Japan's Bungo Channel.[3]


The structure is located on Mizunokojima, a small rocky island roughly 25 kilometres (16 mi) east-northeast from the city of Saiki, in the middle of the Bungo Channel.[3] The light itself is 56 metres (184 ft) above sea level, while the building is 36 metres (118 ft) off the ground; the height of the island makes up the difference. It is one of Japan's tallest lighthouses.[3][4] The tower is painted in alternating black and white horizontal stripes.[3] The light flashes once every ten seconds and emits 1,200,000 candela.[4] The white two-story keeper's house is located directly next to the light.[3]


The Mizunokojima Lighthouse began operating on 20 March 1904, after a torturous four-year construction marked by difficulties brought on by the remoteness of the location. The location had to be abandoned on 4 May 1945 during World War II due to Allied strafing and bombs, but service was restored with acetylene gas lamps by 17 May 1946. On 15 November 1950, the normal light was finally repaired. The lighthouse was manned until 1986, when it transitioned to automatic control. Solar and wave power generators were installed in 2002.[4]

Several typhoons have hit the lighthouse in its years of operation, and the resulting high waves have caused damage. Keepers' records show that waves taller than the roof of the lighthouse hit on 22 September 1922. Another typhoon on 1 October 1941 created waves that reached up to the seventh floor of the lighthouse, rendering equipment like meteorological instruments, radio equipment, generators, and batteries unusable, and the storm destroyed the adjoining pier.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mizunokojima Lighthouse Lighthouses of Japan
  2. ^ Mizunokojima Lighthouse Lighthouse Directory
  3. ^ a b c d e Rowlett, Russ. "Lighthouses of Japan: Northeastern Kyūshū". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d 水ノ子島灯台 (in Japanese). Ōita Coast Guard Office. Retrieved 1 May 2010.