鉄井 Iron Well
Updated: Jan 18, 2020
On the northernmost corner of Komachi Dori and under a little roof is the Kurogane-no-I, or the Iron Well, a famous well of Kamakura. Prior to the introduction of a city water service, people in the neighborhood and passers-by benefited greatly from this well. The stone historical marker tells the story of how the well derived its name:
Kurogane-no-I, or the Iron Well, is one of the famous Ten Wells of Kamakura mentioned in the Shinpen Kamakura-Shi, the very first guide of Kamakura from the 16th century. The well provided an abundance of clean water, even during the summer. A long time ago from this well was excavated a 1.5 meter long head of the Bodhisattva Kannon. This is why it is called the iron well, because the head was made of iron. At 2:00 AM on January 12, 1258, a fire started at the house of Akita Yasumori. The fire swept to the rear of a Yakushidō and over the mountain behind it and reached Jufukuji, which was burned completely to the ground. The fire also swept to Shinsei Suiji, Iwayadō, the treasure hall at Wakamiya Ōji, and the Shukudō. All this we know from the Azumakagami, the chronicles of the Hōjō clan. At the time of the fire, this head was buried in the ground. The Kannon is believed to be the one recovered from the well. It is said that the head of Kannon was housed at Shinsei Suiji. After this fire, it was housed in a Kannon-dō to the west of the well, but was later brought to Tokyō during the Meiji Period.
Erected in March of 1941 by the Kamakura Seinendan Young Adult Association.