Past Hokudai/Cast Entries

Saturday, September 01, 2007



I live in Mikawa, which is near Tedori River in Ishikawa prefecture. The population is not so large. Although the town is rural, I can live comfortably everyday. In 2005 Mikawa became part of Hakusan City because it merged with a number of other villages and small towns. The center of Hakusan City is Matto and the current mayor is Mr. Kado.

Have you seen a signboard across the Mikawa interchanged on Highway 8? The board was made in order to promote Mikawa as the best town in all of Ishikawa prefecture. Surprisingly, it took about three years to build the sign. As you must know, Mikawa has a friendly relationship with the singer Kenichi Mikawa. The previous mayor of Mikawa was a big Kenichi Mikawa fan.

Some traditional culters have continued for many years. Mikawa is famed for embroidery, Buddhist altars, and the Welcome-Back festival. First, the Mikawa Buddhist Altar company was the first altar manufacturer in Ishikawa prefecture. It began during the Muromachi Period (1336 - 1573). In particular, the high skills in lacquering and iromono-tsuikoku technique were brought by Murajiro Minatoya in the middle of the 19th century. Mikawa Buddhist Altar has a great reputation for its skills and technique.

When Japanese people get home, they say “I’m home.” Which, in Japanese is “Tadaima.” (只今). The person who is home says, “Welcome back,” or, in Japanese “Okaeri.” (お帰り) The word ‘okaeri’ is really significant because people can have a warm heart when they hear it. Every May in Mikawa, a big festival called the ‘Okaeri Festival’ is held for two days. This tradition has been going on since the middle of the Edo era (1603 - 1868). Some young people who contribute to volunteer activities play the trumpet; they also play a role as the leader of the Okaeri Festival.

Compared with Mikawa, Komatsu is much more prosperous. Many buildings, especially shops such as sushi shops and electrical appliances shops are found one after another. It might show a symbol of the present social or economic development. The local government takes not only an urban style but also meets people’s requirements. As for another area, Awazu city is known as a hot spring resort. There are a lot of hot springs such as Yamanaka hot springs, Aenokaze, and Obishiso. If you want to enjoy staying there and go around, you should find out the details in advance. Consequently, there are some similarities between Komatsu and Awazu. Their popularity will expand for other prefectures from now on. However, Mikawa is not inferior to these cities. Citizens strive to act affirmatively. In particular, keeping the beautiful sea is second to none. It was not until I saw the sea near my house that I noticed how clever they were.

How do you predict the future of Mikawa? From my standpoint, people in Mikawa cherish small memories even though the result is not gratifying. I know they are really frank. Thanks to our great effort, we are doing well. As far as I’m concerned, Mikawa will become the most brilliant place in the future.

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Mirai Sozo is the School of Future Learning at Hokuriku University. The primary focus is on language (English and Chinese) and management (hospital administration, sports, and business).
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