The large hand bell was used to notify the departure of trains in the late Meiji period (1868–1912). It was also used at JR Shimonoseki Station when it was first opened and has been handed down through the yearsgenerations. The hand bell would first be rung in the waiting room 5 minutes prior to a train’s departure, and then rung loudly 1 minute before departure at the platform. From around 1912, electric bells were introduced in all train stations nationwide, and gradually hand bells ceased to be utilized. It is said this station has the only hand bell in existence today that was actually used. Recognized as a valuable item, it has been designated a registered railway cultural property and is carefully preserved and displayed in the station master’s office. Originally, when Sanyo Railway opened the railroad to Shimonoseki in 1901, Bakan Station was established in Hosoe-cho, which is east of the present-day site. The following year, the name was changed to Shimonoseki Station, and in 1942 during WWII the station was moved to what is today Takezaki-cho. The train station with a delta roof was originally planned as a 4-story reinforced steel building, but given that the country was at war, that was changed to a 2-story wooden building. In 2006, there were plans to rebuild due to the building’s deterioration, but the wooden Shimonoseki Station was destroyed in a fire. It is believed the hand bell that had been stored in a box in the station master’s office at that time was also burned. A few days later, a 15 centimeter, round umbrella-like object was discovered in the rubble and ashes of the station master’s office. The wooden handle had been burned away, but the hand bell was recognized and later came to be a symbol of Shimonoseki Station’s reconstruction. Today, Shimonoseki Station has the most users of all stations in the prefecture. Utilizing Usingthe donations received for its reconstruction and with Yamaguchi Banks serving as the executive office, in March 2015 the “Promotion Council for the New Journeys in Shimonoseki” announced a replica of the hand bell would be created to commemorate the reconstruction of Shimonoseki Station and displayed in the station. An event was held in the vicinity of Shimonoseki Station on March 22, 2015, and the replica was donated to Shimonoseki City together with a bench placed inside the station. Today, it is located in the east-west passageway on the station’s 2nd floor.