The Naniwa Maru (浪華丸) is a replica ship of a typical Japanese trader from the Edo period (1603-1868) known as a higaki kaisen (菱垣廻船).
During the Edo period higaki kaisen ships were used to transport basic materials between Osaka and Edo, up the coast. Materials transported included cotton, oil, paper and medicines.
The name Naniwa Maru comes from the ancient name for Osaka - Naniwa, and the usual postfix given to Japanese trading vessels, Maru. The type of ship, higaki kaisen, originates in the name of the rhomboid-shaped bamboo gunwales, higaki, which helped keep the goods on deck, and kaisen, or "coastal boat".
The ship uses a number of different woods in its construction. Pine, cedar, Japanese cypress and evergreen oak are all used in the construction of the hull and mast, whilst the sail is a cotton canvas known as a matsuemon-ho and there are old Japanese-style nails such as nuikugi and toshikugi.