Hakusanroku Journal 白山麓ジャーナル:Local Community

June 6, 2019 Farming Experience

On May 26 (SUN), the Nature & Adventure club conducted a farming experience in collaboration with members of the local community. Early Sunday morning, students gathering to plant potatoes in the field right across from the Hakusanroku campus. This event was conducted in collaboration with local farmers who willingly agreed to demonstrate and for us to use a patch of their fields. Students first plowed the field by turning over, watering, and mixing fertilizer in the soil. Next the local farmers demonstrated planting the potatoes, which the students followed in suit. This year we planted regular potatoes and sweet potatoes, both which we plan to harvest later this year. Many students have never farmed before and seemed to enjoy the experience. After planting the potatoes, students volunteered to weed a neighboring field before finishing the experience and heading to the onsen to clean up and a long-awaited lunch.

I was impressed by the students enthusiasm and feel lucky that the Hakusanroku campus is surrounded by such rich nature. I mean the farm is right across from the school; literally a one minute walk away! Students take advantage of this short distance to find time and take turns watering the field. It was also interesting to observe the students' reaction to the local farmers explaining that monkeys sometimes dig up and eat the potatoes right before harvest. They threatened and cursed the monkeys saying "I will never surrender my precious potatoes to you!", in fear of the thought of them stealing the result of their hard work. The experience really gave them a firsthand perspective of being a farmer. I asked the local farmers about our students' farming, who simply answered "They're OK. Everyone's a beginner at some point" with a big laugh. I look forward to the future of this relationship with the local community and especially to harvest season.


2019年5月26日(日)Nature & Adventure クラブによる農業体験が地元農家の方々の協力のもと行われました。日曜日の早朝に白山麓キャンパスの向かいにある畑に集合してじゃがいもとさつまいもを植えました。今回の農業体験は地元の方々が畑や道具などを快く貸してくれたことによって実現しました。学生たちはまず畑を耕すところから始めました。シャベルなどを使って土を混ぜてから、水をかけて、最後に肥料を加えました。土づくりをしたあとは、地元の方々の指導のもと芋の苗を植えました。今回植えたじゃがいもとさつまいもは秋に収穫して食べる予定です。ほとんどの学生は農作業の経験がなく、初めての経験を楽しんでいるようでした。芋を植えたあとは隣の畑の雑草取りを手伝ったあと、温泉で汗を流してから昼食をとりました。



March 28, 2019 Snowman Festival

On February 8, several ICT students and I participated in the Snowman Festival at Shiramine district. This year's snow is minimal especially compared to last year's record-breaking snowfall, and even Shiramine, which is regularly known for its heavy snow only had partial snow left on the roadside. However, the ICT students and the volunteers from Kanazawa Institute of Technology joined forces to make many snowmen for the enjoyment of the local and visiting people. As I was walking around and admiring the snowmen, I met the head priest of Rinsaiji temple, who invited me to see the Gezanbutsu (Budda's decent from the mountains) statues. Gratefully accepting this offer, I followed him to the main hall of the temple to view the many Buddhist statues once located at Gozengamine (the top of Mt. Hakusan). These Buddhist statues, including the Dozo-kanze-onbosatsu-ryuzo, were placed in Rinsaiji temple after the Buddhist monks were forced to dissent the mountain due to the Ordinance Distinguishing Shinto and Buddhism in the Meiji period. If you visit the temple, the head priest will tell you the details in depth. Thanks to his wisdom, I was able to deepen my knowledge on Hakusanroku history. The sun had set by the time I left the temple, and the streets were beautifully lit with illumination that, when combined with the lamps from the shops, added a wonderful atmosphere to the area. We enjoyed walking and trying food from some of the shops before heading home.

ICT Shuntaro Yamazaki



国際高専 山崎俊太郎

November 13, 2018 Storytelling at Hakurei Elementary School

One of the important ICT principles is involvement with the local community and being good neighbors. As part of this policy, Pauline Baird and I go to Hakurei Elementary School 2 times a month to tell the students stories in English. The students are split into 2 groups, grades 1 to 3 and grades 4 to 6. I teach one group and Pauline teaches the other group and the next time we go to Hakurei we switch groups.

So far we have told the students the following stories; The Enormous Turnip, Six Dinner Sid, Edward the Emu, I Want My Hat Back, The Hare and the Tortoise and The Little Engine That Could.  It’s quite enjoyable as the students are eager to be involved in the storytelling and to act out the story. It’s a way to help them and their classmates understand the story.

Next year I hope to bring ICT students to Hakurei Elementary School to help tell the stories. This way the students can become more involved in the local community and use their English skills to teach others English. If you have any suggestions for stories we should tell, please let Pauline or I know.

Ian Stevenson

2018年11月13日 白嶺小学校で絵本読み教室


これまで読んだ本は「おおきなかぶ」「Six Dinner Sid」「Edward the Emu」「どこいったん」「うさぎと亀」「The Little Engine That Could」です。子供たちが授業に積極的に参加して、物語を演じてくれるので、とても楽しいです。演じることで、自身とクラスメイトの理解を助けることにもなります。



November 9, 2018

KTB, the Japanese teacher here. First, congratulations to first-year student Hinata for passing the paper test for English Proficiency grade two! Today, Yuka and Ichika joined us as we set out to take her ID photo needed for the interview test. On the drive back through the tinted mountains, we stopped at the café "Detza" in Torigoe for some sweets. Our conversation varied from all the era names in Japanese history (which Ichika has memorized), how to say Bangkok's formal name (in Thailand they learn it by song), the girls' future and looking forward to skiing in the winter. 

Students are becoming increasingly busy in this second semester. However, today became a pleasant lull in their busy life. Lately, the girls are practicing for their performance in music class. I hear they are practicing morning, evening and nighttime, using most of their free time between classes and the learning session. What will their performance be like? On the drive back they spoke about their plans to go to Universal Studios Japan. They seemed reenergized by the time we got back to school, saying the sugar will help them through the learning session.

(*"Detza" is next to the Torigoe Ikkou Ikki History Museum. The people who run the place are parents of my daughter's classmate. Their baked sweets are so delicious you'll want to squeal.)

Yutaka Katabe





潟辺 豊

October 18, 2018 Kaga Yuzen Workshop Part Two at Hakusanroku

On Saturday, we held our follow-up Kaga Yuzen workshop in collaboration with Kobo Hisatsune. You can read about "Kobo Hisatsune" and our career design trip in Yamazaki sensei's journal from October 9. For our second workshop, Hisatsune sensei and staff visited us at the Hakusanroku campus.


Hisatsune sensei visited us at Hakusanroku campus.


The workshop began with students giving presentations on new ideas they came up with for Kaga Yuzen. There were many interesting ideas such as creating designs for license plates and glass corridors. Hisatsune sensei commented that "Experience comes with the tradeoff of flexibility. Fresh minds and ideas are always welcome."

Student explaining ideas they came up with for Kaga Yuzen.

In this workshop, students and teacher actually dyed a picture on a piece of fabric. The people of Kobo Hisatsune provided an assortment of designs to choose from as well as dyeing material. The pictures were outlined with thin lines that can be washed off with water after the coloring is complete.


At first, the cloths looked like white pages of a coloring book. However, we soon discovered that it was not that simple. First, the liquid dye soaks into the fabric, so it is difficult to sustain the colors inside the lines of the picture. Second, utilizing this characteristic is a fundamental technique in Kaga Yuzen; adding a second color for more depth of field or a realistic look. For example, the Kobo Hisatsune staff demonstrated how adding yellow to the tips of green leaves gave them a more natural look.

Yellow on the tips give leaves a more realistic look.

Each student used different colors and dyed the cloths differently. Even if they chose the same designed cloth, the pictures looked totally different. Hisatsune sensei remarked that he enjoys observing how everyone thinks and percepts color differently.

Same picture but looks totally different.

Kaga Yuzen dye does not come off with water. After rinsing the cloths and drying them, the color is permanent. After a couple of hours, everyone had their own Kaga Yuzen handkerchief.

Everyone's finished product.


Everyone seemed to enjoy the workshop and I hope it does not end here. Both sides promised to collaborate in the future, and I am looking forward to which ideas the students came up with may actually come true.



2018年10月18日 友禅染教室








October 9, 2018 Career Design Trip to Kobo Hisatsune

On September 25, we took a special career design trip to Kanazawa. This time, we visited "Kobo Hisatsune", the workshop of Toshiharu Hisatsune, who is a successful Yuzen Artist in the field of Kaga Yuzen. Kaga Yuzen has a history of 500 years. Hisatsune sensei inherits its history and is an innovator of new styles and expression of Kaga Yuzen.

At the Kobo Hisatsune workshop, Hisatsune sensei not only does Yuzen dying on kimonos, but also other material such as wood, gold leaf and Tennyo-no-Hagoromo (robe of angel). The workshop is constantly developing new Yuzen technology to express Yuzen art on mediums such as interior, chinaware, tea boxes, stage costumes, etc. An example can be seen on the wall of the Starbucks coffee shop in Korinbo 109 in Kanazawa city. His work has received praise both nationally and internationally.

In this career design trip, we first listened to a lecture from Hisatsune sensei on his life as a Yuzen Artist and the difficulties he overcame. Being an ordinary businessman most of my life, I was fascinated by his experience. Also, we had a chance to view his workshop and actually try the dying process using Hisatsune sensei's coloring materials. The students were nervous, but managed to successfully color the fabric.

I was interested in how the students felt about the experience. The next day I read their reports and was surprised at how much they had to say. On October 13, the Kobo Hisatsune staff will pay us a visit at Hakusanroku campus and conduct a Yuzen dying workshop. Both students and teachers are welcome and I am very excited to participate.

Dean of Research and Projects

Shuntaro Yamazaki


キャリアデザイン特別活動 「工房久恒」訪問







May 1st, 2018

 After I finished my first engineering context class, I was relentlessly busy with work of the research project manager just before the Golden Week. This mission is to plan and conduct extracurricular project activities through industry-academia collaboration and regional collaboration. However, since this year is the first year, we mainly focus on the inventory of planning ideas and the possibility of implementing them. Today I would like to introduce two topics being realized from several candidates.
 The first one is to introduce research activities of energy management system being implemented at the Institute for Regional Revitalization and Innovation of KIT to which I also belong to college students. Experiments on energy independence by renewable energy and storage batteries are currently being conducted in the cottage (staff dwelling) in the Hakusanroku campus. This activity is promoted by industry-academia collaboration with Seiko Electric, Mitsubishi Electric, NEC, 4R Energy etc. I thought that it would be an opportunity for students to be interested in the smart energy field expected to grow in the future by looking at the equipment used in this experiment. The picture is the actual tour scene. Everyone was very enthusiastic, so I became happy too. In the future, as research at Kanazawa Institute of Technology progresses, I will get involved again in college students. 



  The second project is a collaboration with preservation society of Bunya-Ningyo(Puppet)-Joruri literature which is an important intangible folk cultural property. There is a village called Higashi-futakuchi immediately after passing the Sena tunnel adjacent to Hakusanroku campus. In this village, Bunya puppet joruri is inherited for 350 years. However, with the rapid depopulation and aging population, the culture is facing a crisis of survival, and Kanazawa Institute of Technology has provided support for puppet performances and video archive productions so far. At International College of Technology, we hope to contribute by promoting puppet joruri globally, with the cooperation of English teachers. Recently, I visited Higashi-futakuchi Historical Folk Museum with Mr. James, an English teacher, and met with Mr. Michishita, president of Ningyo Joruri Preservation Association, to discuss about cooperation. The picture  is like Mr. Michishita explaining the old script of Joruri Tayu. After finishing the meeting, I realized the significance and difficulty of inheriting the tradition, and I thought that we, who became inhabitants of this area, should also contribute to this activity even if we are not powerful. First of all, I plan to organize a tour for the students by the summer and start to exchange with local people.


International College of Technology
Professor of Science and Technology
Dean of Research and Project

Shuntaro Yamazaki




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