The Miyake lineage achieved the highest social status on the island of Naoshima, so that the townspeople celebrated them by adding to their household name the honorific title of ‘O’,(Oo) meaning ‘grand’, or ‘great’. The family compound held the role of village office under the domain of Kurashiki until the beginning of the Meiji Era. The 21st generation of the Miyake family was appointed as the first village chief of Naoshima in the Edo period. The main building is used as accommodation for guests.

The Miyake family household is more than 400 years old. However, it is not open to the public as a registered cultural property, and is still maintained as private property by the current generation.
Plan of the Miyake Household
At the Miyake household, the composition of buildings, representing the base of a village chief, is very well preserved. The arrangement of the house is divided into a main, formal entrance for guests and a rear, more utilitarian portal. The compound was originally used during wartimes as a headquarters, or main assembly point, but later became an inn for important personages: nobles, daimyo, officials of the shogunate, and monks. There were breweries, of both soy sauce and sake, at the rear of the premises, where a transport boat was able to enter close to the house. At that time in history, only a village chief had permission to operate such brewing industries.