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Nora Dokei (Aki)

History

Another illustrious son of Aki was Hatakenaka Genma whose clock still stands in Aki. Today it goes by the name Nora Dokei which means ‘field clock’ since it marks the time for farmworkers in the fields, but originally it had the more sophisticated name Yagura Dokei or ‘tower clock’. Hatakenaka received an American-made clock with a wooden mechanism which he repeatedly dismantled and reassembled until he mastered its working principles. Then in 1887, he made an improved version out of more precise and accurate brass. A single mechanism drives all four faces of the clock, using a weight on a pulley that keeps the clock running for about a week. The building which houses the clock is very elegant.