JAPANESE  ENGLISH

PEOPLE

2020.03.31
Vol.38
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

It is deeds, not words, that move people’s hearts

Ms. Ogasawara: I also came to know Ms. Koko Kato through curry. When Koko came up to visit the Hashino Iron Mine for a site inspection, she came for a meal at the information center. I was really moved when she approached me to tell me how delicious the curry was, adding, “And the way the presentation is designed to look like he Hashino Iron Mine is wonderful, too. I was impressed.” But what will stay with me is what she said next, “It’s important for there to be people who appreciate the Hashino Iron Mine like this. It’s the people who play the central role in industrial heritage.” Until then, although I’d known that the Hashino Iron Mine had been selected as a component the Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution, I’d been thinking it terms of “Well, it would be nice if it came to something, but I wonder if they can pull it off?” as though it had nothing to do with me. Part of me had also felt that “if it’s such a valuable site, why has the country just left it abandoned until now?” But when I heard Kōko say that “people are central,” something suddenly clicked. That is, I realized that being listed as World Heritage would actually be a tribute to the local people who lived in Hashino and taken care of the iron mines.

 And there is something else. It dawned on me that Koko, too, was motivated by a powerful sense that “whether I can or cannot, I won’t know unless I try.” It’s easy to say, “Anyway, I’ll give it a shot,” but it really takes courage to actually take action. When I had just been trying to qualify as a licensed cook, I had held back because I was thinking about what I would do if I failed. Deliberating on the kind of resolution that Koko must have felt, with so many people’s hopes invested in her, then as someone living here in my own home town, how could I not also throw myself completely into the dream of World Heritage inscription? Koko still visits the Tōge Chaya when she comes to Kamaishi. Even though we’ve achieved our goals, I’m very happy that we’re still connected, which makes me feel that we have to work harder even still. It’s been my personal experience that it is deeds, not words, the move people’s hearts.

I have to enrich the place where I am

Ms. Ogasawara: After the inscription of the Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution as World Heritage, there were suddenly a lot more people coming to see the Hashino Iron Mine. At one point, the road in front of Tōge Chaya was so full of people it was like one of those pedestrian-only streets in Ginza. I had never seen this place so busy with so many people. Tōge Chaya was also now booked up for days on end, and my husband I were run off our feet. We gave a lot of interviews to magazines, and have also been featured on television. Now, nearly five years later, there are some quiet days, and the bustling excitement has calmed down quite a bit. Even so, I feel that it was a big thing to have been inscribed as World Heritage. It has reminded us that the Hashino Iron Mine is a source of hometown pride. It’s also strengthened my sense of gratitude toward our ancestors. Even so, all I can do is prepare my meals while feeling that I have to do my best to enrich the place where I am. But if everyone in the community joins together in the feeling that we have to enrich the hometown where we’ve each been born and raised, I think that would be a source of great strength. I’m going to keep running Tōge Chaya until I’m eighty, and after that I’ll start looking for something I can do at age eighty. I’d like to start doing something new to get more people to visit Hashino Iron Mine. When I was young, I yearned for the city, but ultimately I’ve been given the strength to live in my own hometown. Clean air, fresh vegetables that are good for the body and pesticide-free, and human warmth… But the most important local specialty is human compassion. If we can provide visitors with memories of how their visit to Hashino Iron Mine was full of heartwarming encounters, that reputation will spread to people around the world. And I believe that people who visit once will be likely to return again and again.  

(Interview and summary: Akane Maruyama)

(Photos) Ms. Ogasawara and American high school students from NY who visited for an on-site learning

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Vol.50
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

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A fellow of the Japan Federation of Engineering Societies

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Vol.47
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Team Member of the Industrial Project Team Office for the Promotion of World Heritage Listing under Cabinet Secretariat

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Governor of Kagoshima Prefecture

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Mayor of Uki City, Kumamoto Prefecture

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Vol. 43
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The Former Employee of Nippon Steel Corporation

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

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Vol.39
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
Vol.38
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
Vol.37
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

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No.36
Kamaishi's "Miracles" and Overcoming Disaster: The Huge Opportunity Provided by World Heritage Site Inscription

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Vol.35
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The 42nd head of the Egawa Family

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

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Vol.33
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Vol.32
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Vol.31
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Vol.30
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Vol.29
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Governor
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Vol.28
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Vol.27
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
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Vol.26
Taking Pride in Japan's Latest World Heritage Sites~A Journalist's Perspective~

Journalist, founder of the Shimomura Mitsuko Ikikata Juku School

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Vol.25
Classic Cars and the Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution~Rally Nippon 2019 in Kyushu~

Representative, Rally Nippon

Mr.Yusuke Kobayashi
Vol.24
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

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Vol.23
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Vol.22
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Mayor of Nagasaki City

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Vol.21
"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

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Vol.20
Days of Heated Argument with the Unforgettable Stuart Smith~A Cross-Cultural Encounter with Familiar 19th-Century Industrial Heritage~

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Vol.19
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Executive Director of Kogakuin University

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Vol.18
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

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Vol.17
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Vol.13
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Dean of Tokyo Rissho Junior College

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Vol.4
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