Honmura, to the east of Nao-Shima island, enjoyed its heyday in the 17C and 18C. The village, posted on the maritime trading route between the island of Shikoku and the ports of Honshu, was a pirate den. The fine, dark-wooden houses with heavy grey-tiled roofs date from this era, although many are in a sorry state. Since 1998, the city and the Benesse Foundation have launched an Art House Project to renovate some of the houses with a view to creating venues for contemporary art installations. This is the case of Minami-dera Temple and Kadoya House in particular.
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