(Hamaya: arrows given by shrines and temples at the beginning of the year, often paired with bows called Hamayumi)
The two Hamaya in the display were placed towards the northeast (the direction of the demon’s gate, where demons are believed to transit from) together with two Hamayumi for the building’s foundation ceremony. Swastikas and pentagrams are drawn on the arrows, indicating the wish to prevent disasters such as fires.
The Omagari Honjin is where Akita’s feudal Satake Family or Hirosaki’s feudal Tsugaru Family used to stay or rest while traveling to Edo for alternate attendance.
About the time this facility was built, there are some accounts in chapters on Yokozawa Village and Omagari Village in Tsuki no Idewaji [Idewaji with the Moon] written by Sugae Masumi around 1828, and a section in the second volume of Documents on the Local History of Ōta Village.
— Omagari Village. The Honjin was at a station in Yokozawa during the Keichō period (1596–1615), when there was an old main road from Rokugō to Kakunodate via Yokozawa. The current station in Omagari did not exist then. This new road was created around the time of the Manji (1658–1661) and Kanbun (1661–1673). The Honjin moved to its current location during the Tenna (1681–1684) and Kyōhō (1716–1736) era.
— Yokozawa Village. There were traces of the Honjin’s bathhouse in Kita Village. The current Honjin moved to Omagari after a new road was established at the time of the Manji and Kanbun. This is the Honjin today.
— A section in the second volume of Documents on the Local History of Ōta Village. In the past, to conduct the business of the rest-house in Yokozawa Village, 5,800 ha/wa (an ancient Japanese unit for measuring the amount of rice) from both Sougyō and Kanaiden were paid to the government, until the end of the Tenna period. This was only abolished recently.
These accounts reveal that the building used as the rest-house was moved from Yokozawa to Omagari. This was due to the rerouting of the main road around 1658–72 from today’s Prefectural Road 11, known as Kaku-roku line, to the National Road 13, which used to be the Usyu Highway. This shift presumably led to the removal of the building from Yokozawa Village and its reconstruction in Omagari Village in 1681–1687. Later, the structure came to be used as the Honjin. Additionally, Akagawa Kikuson (born in Fujiki, Omagari in 1883) wrote that the relocation occurred in 1665 according to the writings of Mr. Kyoshi and Mariko Bridge (included in Akagawa Kikuson’s A Path to Cultural History). However, the concrete historical evidence that he used is unknown.
The Hamaya in Omagari Honjin is four meters long. As there are no dates or words printed on them, it is unclear when they were created. However, the nails used are not Western; therefore, the Hamaya is assumed to be from the Edo period.