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|Year first lit||1874, 1946|
|Foundation||brick and concrete|
|Tower shape||tapered cylindrical tower with balcony and lantern|
|Markings / pattern||white tower and lantern|
|Height||22.47 metres (73.7 ft)|
|Focal height||50.4 metres (165 ft)|
|Original lens||Third Order Fresnel|
|Range||36 kilometres (19 nmi)|
|Characteristic||Fl W 4s.|
The Omaezaki Lighthouse was one of the 26 lighthouses to be built in Meiji period Japan by British engineer Richard Henry Brunton. Although not one of the eight lighthouses stipulated specifically by the provisions of the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Amity and Commerce of 1858, construction was given priority by the Meiji government after a Japanese navy vessel grounded on the rocks off Cape Omaezaki on April 8, 1871. Construction began on May 26, 1872 and the lighthouse was completed on May 1, 1874 at a cost of 25,000 yen. The lighthouse is noteworthy as the first to use a Fresnel lens in Japan.
The light was upgraded to a more powerful beam in 1917. During World War II, Omaezaki Lighthouse was bombarded by United States Navy warships, cracking its lens and causing severe damage to its structure. The light was repaired after the end of the war, and its lens upgraded to a third order Fresnel. It went back into operation on March 24, 1949.
The Omaezaki Lighthouse is currently open to the public, and can be ascended for a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. It 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.
- Brunton, Richard. Building Japan, 1868–1879. Japan Library, 1991. ISBN 1-873410-05-0
- Pedlar, Neil. The Imported Pioneers: Westerners who Helped Build Modern Japan. Routledge, 1990. ISBN 0-904404-51-X
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