Hacchoro, Japanese 8-oared Fishing Boat


The Hacchoro is an Edo Period 8-oared Japanese fishing boat that comes from the Yaizu area of the Pacific Coast side of Japan’s main island of Honshu.

This 1/24-scale model is based on a kit produced by Japanese Model Manufacturer Woody Joe and measures roughly 23” long and 19-1/2” high.

The Hacchoro,  Japanese 8-Oared Fishing Boat

During Japan’s Edo Period, which lasted from 1603 to 1868, there were restrictions on the number of oars that boats could use. This was done for military reasons.

The retired Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu enjoyed hunting, and his favorite hunting grounds had to be reached by boat. To provide escort to the hunting grounds, 24 Japanese fishing boats were commissioned. The boats, being restricted in number of oars had a difficult time keeping up with the Shogun’s boat, so special permission was granted to the local fishermen to use 8 oars. Hence, the name Hacchoro, which literally translates to “8 oars”.

About the Model

This model was built from a Japanese kit produced by the company Woody Joe. It features wood construction of Japanese cypress built over an internal frame. The deck is constructed of individual plank and the cloth sails have been sewn for added realism.

Copper caps cover the ends of the major beams as was done on the real boats to prevent them from rotting.

This model, along with my Higaki Kaisen model is occasionally displayed in the window of Union Bank’s community room in the Japan Center Mall.

Those interested in Japanese style boats should check out the website of American boatbuilder Douglas Brooks, who has studied  in Japan and apprenticed with five traditional Japanese boat builders and has written articles and one book on the subject.

To purchase a kit, I recommend the Japanese international hobby dealer Zootoyz. Be aware that the instructions are written completely in Japanese. But, there is heavy use of illustration, and it is a very simple kit. For more information visit the build notes on my blog site.