In Industrial Heritage, It's the "People" Who Play the Central Role: How World Heritage Inscription Casts a Fresh Light on Hometown Splendors

Owner at Tōge Chaya

Ms. Shizuko Ogasawara
Ms. Shizuko Ogasawara

Involvement in the Aonoki Women’s Association

Ms. Ogasawara: I was born and raised in the town of Hashino. My father ran an amusement park where Tōge Chaya is now, so the Hashino Iron Mining and Smelting Site is an old stomping ground. I was vaguely aware that it was supposed to be the pride of Kamaishi. But when I was young I found the countryside oppressive and yearned for the city. I also felt strongly that if I were to marry someone, he had to be an eldest son, a farmer, and someone who hated drinking. I was able to find someone who met these conditions, and that’s how I married my husband. We went up to Tokyo to start our married life together and were blessed with three sons. Back then I used to bring the family home in the long summer and winter holidays, but then one day my husband blurted out, “You know, it would be nice to raise the kinds in a place like Kamaishi, with all that clean air.” I said “What?!” (laughs) In those days, photochemical smog was a big problem in Tokyo, and while I thought my husband’s idea made sense, I couldn’t bring myself to go back to the countryside. Nevertheless, the idea of staying in Tokyo on my own was a non-starter, so I grudgingly made the U-turn and headed back. Maybe I was destined to return to Hashino. But nowadays I feel really happy that I accepted my fate. I was wrong to think that nothing ever got going in the countryside. Although at the time, I didn’t imagine that there was any hope in a rustic place like this. A lot of the folks around here are farmers, but my family’s trade was making iron casts. Even so, I had the chance to get to know everyone really well through the Aonoki Women’s Association, which was organized in 1984 as a lifestyle improvement group in the Aonoki area. I guess that was around the time I turned forty. That was when my number came up to serve as the representative. Being the rep is tough in a lot of ways. You have to decide what to do for the agricultural festival and it’s your job to bring people together. When I found that it was becoming hard to balance this with the family business, I decided to concentrate on my activities with the Aonoki Women’s Association. The first issue was even though the locals were technically farmers, they weren’t running major operations. They could raise enough for ourselves to eat, but was there not some way to offer any leftovers to others? So, after holding consultations with everyone, we decided to set up unattended stalls along the highway. Nowadays people take “farm-fresh” for granted, but in Kamaishi the Aonoki Women’s Association was a pioneer. However, as it turned out, ninety percent of the produce ended up being taken without being paid for, and folks around here wouldn’t hold with it. So we joined the Kamaishi Products Association. After that, word began to spread that Aonoki vegetables were delicious. That was a happy event, but it’s also when I started to finally get very busy… Since I was the only one with a driver’s license, I loaded up a two-ton truck with radishes and carrots and drove it to the market. How young I was then! (Laughs).

On Winning Kamaishi Its First National Land Agency Director-General’s Award for Sen’nin chōrōgi

Ms. Ogasawara: One of the vegetables grown in the Aonoki area is a perennial plant of the Lamiaceae (mint) family that is called “Chinese artichoke” in English and chorogi in Japanese. It has been produced by farmers for a long time as a food to be eaten at the New Year. Shaped like a snail shell, it’s quite cute, but the fact that it takes so much time and effort to grow is a bit of a drawback. Even when it is planted in May, a crop won’t be commercially viable until November or December. Also, because they are so delicate and easily damaged, you have to dig them up one by one and then wash them by hand. They have an earthy smell and are easily discolored, so they have to be parboiled before shipping, which is to say there’s no profit at all to be had from them. I was just at the point of wondering what to do when I had a request from the president of a hotel in Kamaishi asking for some pickles. In response, we set up a pickling association to work on the joint processing of chorogi, starting with some test batches of salt-preserved pickles and then using repeat trial and error to figure out the seasoning and other kinds of secondary processing… At that time, there was a big push to promote local products to the prefectural and national markets, and at the guidance of the promotion center we prepared a white vinegared variety and a red variety pickled in in plum vinegar. We made six kinds of pickles seasoned with things like soy sauce, miso paste, and kimchi. We named them sen’nin chōrōgi and started selling them in 1986. Although the characters we used for the name were a kind of pun (sen’nin chōrōgi can be read as either “hermit’s artichokes” or “the venerable hermit’s delight”), our timing was fortunate. A professor at Kyoto University published a research paper reporting that chorogi could help prevent dementia, which fired up interest, and we started getting a lot of orders from around the country – enough that we started to panic. We ended up dealing with a major pickle retailer and would get orders for one or two tons of product! As a result of working hard together, our sen’nin chōrōgi won awards at fairs at the prefectural, regional (Tōhoku), and national levels. We were selected to win first prizes from among sixty-five shops, and won Kamaishi its first National Land Agency Director-General’s Award. I’d had no idea that having a connection to society could be so stimulating or rewarding. I’d been expecting to spend my whole life at home, raising the kids and helping out with the family business. So I’m happy, in a way, and I have to be thankful for my current happiness. But as serendipitous as they may have been, a lot of exciting things happened to me when I took the leap to get involved in society. It’s like when you receive money, money that you earn for yourself will have a different value. Learning the economic concept of appreciating value, when I think about it that was what I learned from society after having been a housewife.

(Photo) A notebook kept in the restaurant filled with patrons’ impressions of the curry and notes of gratitude for their encounter. “It’s my treasure,” says Ms. Ogasawara.ノート.jpg

What is the secret plan to make the Port of Miike, an operational asset of a World Heritage site?

Former Mayor of Omuta City

Mr. Michio Koga
Vol. 49
Why Conservation Management of Japan's Meiji Industrial Sites is needed?

Archaeologist and Heritage Conservation Specialist

Dr. Michael Pearson AO
The Truth of Industrial History Unraveled from the Perspective of Metallurgy: the Mission of the Heritage of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution is to Pass on the Intelligence, Diligence, and Fortitude of the Japanese People to Future Generations

A fellow of the Japan Federation of Engineering Societies

Professor Tadahiro Inazumi
The Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution is a Great Teaching Aid, and Various World Revealed by Looking Into It

Team Member of the Industrial Project Team Office for the Promotion of World Heritage Listing under Cabinet Secretariat

Mr. Kazuhiko Suga
The History of Iron that Began in Kagoshima has Dramatically Advanced Japan's Modernization~I Want to Pass on the Vitality of the People of Satsuma to the Younger Generations Whom Will Live in the Future~

Governor of Kagoshima Prefecture

Koichi Shiota
Yoshida Shoin preached the Theory of Engineering Education and produced the Choshu Five who risked their lives to go to England--to pass on the proud Hagi spirit to future generations

Mayor of Hagi City

Mr. Fumio Tanaka
I wish to pass on to my children's generation the wisdom, technology, and energy of our ancestors who built Misumi West Port - I will do my very best to do what I can at this moment by looking ahead to the future that will surely come after COVID-19.

Mayor of Uki City, Kumamoto Prefecture

Mr. Kenshi Morita
Vol. 43
An Imperial Company named the Yawata Steel Works became a World Heritage Site from a Single Old Photo!

The Former Employee of Nippon Steel Corporation

Mr. Masayoshi Minakuchi
We would like to Establish a "New Local Studies" that will be transmitted to the Outside World.

An Associate Professor of the Faculty of Science and Engineering in Iwate University

Mr. Hideki Onodera
18 Years History of a Tourist Guide Business and an Outpouring of "Love for Misumi West Port." ~"Registration for World Heritage is Not Simply a Goal, but a New Starting Point."~

Chairman of the Tourist Guide Association of Misumi West Port

Mr. Manpo Saito
To Mark the Passage of "Time" Together with Nirayama Reverberatory Furnace ~To increase the attractiveness of "reverberatory furnace tourism" through the use of commercial museum and restaurant business~

President of Kuraya Narusawa Co., Ltd.

Chairman of Izunokuni City Tourism Association

Mr. Hironori Inamura
The Establishment of the Gunkanjima Digital Museum Were Led by Fate: I want to start, continue, and finish what I can do to convey the value of the Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution to a wide audience

Director and General Manager of Gunkanjima Concierge

Producer of the Gunkanjima Digital Museum

Ms. Yuko Kuon
In Industrial Heritage, It's the "People" Who Play the Central Role: How World Heritage Inscription Casts a Fresh Light on Hometown Splendors

Owner at Tōge Chaya

Ms. Shizuko Ogasawara
Everything is for the Economic Development of Nagasaki--Expanding Beyond the Shipping Business to Pass on Nagasaki's Culture and Industrial Heritage

Chairman: Mr. Hidenori Date
President: Mr. Masahiro Date

Yamasa Kaiun Co., Ltd.
Kamaishi's "Miracles" and Overcoming Disaster: The Huge Opportunity Provided by World Heritage Site Inscription

Proprietor, Houraikan Inn

Ms. Akiko Iwasaki
"850 years of historical records" along with Nirayama reverberatory furnace that ought to be passed down to future generations. ~The long-awaited new storage warehouse is completed and it has encouraged preservation, restoration, and utilization~

Representative Director of Egawa Bunko non-profit incorporated foundation

The 42nd head of the Egawa Family

Mr. Hiroshi Egawa
The History of an Era Opened by an Indomitable Pioneering Spirit and the Power of Our Forefathers

Democratic Party for the People (DPP) Representative for Nagasaki Prefecture

Mr. Yoshiaki Takaki
Gunkanjima Is a Warning Message for the Future of Earth and Humanity ~The Thoughts and Pleas of a Guide and Former Resident~

President of the NPO, Way to World Heritage Gunkanjima

Mr. Dotoku Sakamoto
Synchronicity Yields the Miracle of World Heritage Site Inscription: Strong Aspirations Inspire Support among Like-Minded Individuals

Representative Director

MI Consulting Group

Mr. Fumio Ohue
Power to the People of Japan The Mission of Meiji Japan's Industrial Revolutionary Heritage

President of Watanabe Production Group and Honorary Chair of Watanabe Productions Co., Ltd.

Ms. Misa Watanabe
Turning Our Industrial Heritage into Hope for Those 100 Years From Now

Member of the House of Councillors

Mr.Tatsuo Hirano
Calling on 21st Century Satsuma Students to Build the Future! Shuseikan Serves as a Source of Information about Sightseeing in Kagoshima

Kagoshima Prefecture

Mr. Satoshi Mitazono
Awareness of "Stories with Connections" is steadily spreading throughout each region~There are also challenges for conservation management and interpretation~

World Heritage Consultant

Ms. Sarah Jane Brazil
Where There Is a Will, There Is a Way: Connecting with People Takes Courage and Initiative

Director and Dean, The Kyushu-Asia Institute of Leadership
Representative Director, SUMIDA, Inc.

Mr. Koichi Hashida
Taking Pride in Japan's Latest World Heritage Sites~A Journalist's Perspective~

Journalist, founder of the Shimomura Mitsuko Ikikata Juku School

Ms. Mitsuko Shimomura
Classic Cars and the Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution~Rally Nippon 2019 in Kyushu~

Representative, Rally Nippon

Mr.Yusuke Kobayashi
Preparations Proceed for the Development of Exciting Touring Routes to See the World Heritage Sites - The Promotion Council Conveys their Attractions to the World through Various Promotions!

Chairman, Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution World Heritage Route Promotion Council Director, National Congress of Industrial Heritage

Mr. Susumu Ishihara
Giving Greater Force to the Preparation of Routes toward Promoting "Heritage Tourism" - Recollections of the Unforgettable Bombing of Hometown Kure City and the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb

Representative Director, General Incorporated Foundation National Congress of Industrial Heritage (Advisor, Public Interest Incorporated Foundation Capital Markets Research Institute)

Mr. Hiroshi Yasuda
The City Connected to the World: Making the "Treasure of Nagasaki" the "Treasure of the World"

Mayor of Nagasaki City

Mr.Tomihisa Taue
"The World's Experimental Facility" that Questions of the True Value of the "ICOMOS-TICCIH Cooperative Principles" New Conservation Challenges Promoted by the Japanese Government

Policy Director at Heritage Montreal

Mr. Dinu Bumbaru
Days of Heated Argument with the Unforgettable Stuart Smith~A Cross-Cultural Encounter with Familiar 19th-Century Industrial Heritage~

World Heritage Consultant

Mr. Barry Gamble
The next generation of technological innovation is born from carrying forward history and culture. - Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution open the way to "conserving while using"

Executive Director of Kogakuin University

Dr.Osamu Goto
Blazing a New Trail for Serial Inscription-Format Conservation and Management with the Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution: Training Personnel to Pass on Memory and Understanding as a Major Challenge in the Future

Heritage Architect and International Consultant

Mr. Duncan Marshall
3D Digital Documentation of the Giant Cantilever Crane and Kosuge Dock

Head of Data Acquisition at The Glasgow School of Art’s School of Simulation and Visualisation

Mr. Alastair Rawlinson
Japan's Uplifting Industrial Heritage

Head of Industrial Heritage, Historic Environment Scotland, Edinburgh

Dr. Miles Oglethorpe
The Scottish Ten Project

Scottish Ten Project Manager, Historic Environment Scotland, Edinburgh

Dr. Lyn Wilson
The Tea Plantation Hill Where You Can See Two World Heritage Sites at Once, Mt. Fuji and the Nirayama Reverberatory Furnaces--The Next Dream Is a "Mini Reverberatory Furnace for Children" to Provide Experiential Learning

Mayor of Izunokuni City, Shizuoka Prefecture

Ms.Toshiko Ono
Path to becoming a World Heritage Site

Pro-Provost and Chairman of Council of the Royal College of Art. Heritage advisor of Canal & River Trust for England and Wales.

Sir Neil Cossons
In the midst of accurate information dissemination, it created a chance to truly look at history

Dean of Tokyo Rissho Junior College

Professor emeritus of Keio University

Dr. Kudo Norikazu
World Heritage Inscription Spurs Renewed Civic Pride in Kitakyushu's Industrial Heritage

Mayor of Kitakyushu City

Mr. Kenji Kitahashi
World Heritage Inscription: Report on the 2015 Celebratory Party Held in Bonn, Germany

At the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee convened in Bonn, Germany, from June 28 to July 8, 2015, the decision was approved to inscribe the Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution on the World Heritage list.

At a celebratory party held to mark the occasion, some of the primary promoters of the project spoke of their joy in achieving their goal and of the trials and tribulations to getting there.

Background of World Heritage Inscription
Conserve and Use: Pioneering New Approaches for Operational Heritage Assets

Director and Managing Executive Officer, Hanshin Expressway Company Limited

Member, Board of Directors, National Congress of Industrial Heritage

Mr. Hiroshi Okamoto
Applying Port and Harbor Act Provisions to Conserve Operating World Heritage Sites

Vice-Governor of Shizuoka Prefecture

Mr. Takashi Namba
The Choshu Five: Pioneers of Modernization and Hagi's Heritage of Trial and Error

Mayor of Hagi City

Mr. Koji Nomura
The Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution: The Roots of Japanese Craftsmanship and Industry

Chairman, Tokyo Metro Co., Ltd.

Mr.Masafumi Yasutomi
The Miike Area: How Coal Contributed to Japan's Modern Industrialization

Mayor of Omuta City

Mr.Michio Koga
The Meiji Industrial Revolution: A Story of Broad Vision and a Strong Sense of Mission to Undertake New Challenges for the Good of the Nation and its People

Deputy Director-General, Lifelong Learning Policy Bureau, MEXT

Former Counsellor, Cabinet Secretariat

Mr. Kengo Iwamoto
From Kamaishi to Yawata: The Proud Heritage of Japan's Modern Iron Industry

Mayor of Kamaishi City

Mr.Takenori Noda
Lord Nariakira Shimadzu's Shuseikan and the Efforts to Build a Strong and Affluent Nation

Member, Board of Directors, National Congress of Industrial Heritage Counselor, Shimadzu Limited

Mr.Kimiyasu Shimadzu
The Genesis of Japan's Rise as an Industrial Nation: Preserving the Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution for Future Generations

Chairman of the Consortium for the World Heritage Inscription of Modern Industrial Heritage (Kyushu-Yamaguchi) and governor of Kagoshima Prefecture (as of 2015)

Mr.Yuichiro Ito