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

December 23, 2021 English Cafe

Hello everyone! On the 22nd December I held a Christmas-themed English Café event for local residents at Oguchi Community Centre, just down the road from Hakusanroku Campus.

This time, 4 adults from Oguchi, Shiramine, and Yoshinodani attended. We started the event by learning about how to write Christmas cards in English, and then everyone had a go at writing one themselves. Meanwhile, 2 primary school children and 1 nursery-age child did Christmas-themed colouring, mazes, and other similar activities too. After that, everyone helped to decorate the Christmas tree. Father Christmas even made an appearance! The children and the adults were excited when he came in!

The staff at the Community Centre worked very hard to prepare everything for this event, as they do every month. I’m very grateful for their help.

I’m looking forward to continuing English Café into 2022 – it’s a great opportunity to meet and talk to members of the local community.

 James Taylor







October 11, 2021 1・2年生自然教室 三方岩岳ハイキング




木原 均

 On September 21 (Tue), the first- and second-year students went on a hiking trip to Sanpoiwatake as an extracurricular activity. Participants were seven first-year students, ten second-year students, seven teachers; a total of 24 people. Sanpoiwatake is located along the Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road and takes about 50 minutes up and 40 minutes back down.

 Everyone boarded a bus at 9 am and departed for the starting point adjacent to Sanpoiwatake parking area. On the way, Owari coach talked about each location of Mt. Hakusan’s nature that we could see out the windows, such as the names of waterfalls, avalanche chutes, and wildlife living in the area. His lecture was fascinating and students especially showed interest in stories that he actually experienced in the area. Episodes such as exploring Jyatani-keikoku (snake valley) and finding out that there actually are many snakes as the name suggests, and encountering multiple bears when traversing the mountains. They were exciting stories none of us had ever experienced. We stopped at “The Great Waterfall of Fukube” about ten minutes into the White Road and took a break and a group photo, and began our climb a little past ten o’clock.

 The weather was perfect and the students hiked along in good spirits. It seemed that they had more than enough energy because we reached the top 30 minutes before schedule. What a wonderful thing youth is. I was additionally surprised to hear that one student had climbed Mt. Hakusan the previous day. He didn’t show any sight of fatigue and stood out in my mind. In contrast, some teachers and myself could feel the strength running out of our legs as we returned to the bus. At the parking lot we showed each other our shaking knees and laughed as we boarded the bus. We returned to the campus at noon and that was the end of the event. However, some students still had energy to burn and turned right around and went swimming in a nearby river with Owari coach. For a while we could not go anywhere due to COVID-19, but this day was an opportunity to refresh our body and mind in the nature near Hakusanroku Campus, and spend time with students somewhere other than a classroom.

Hitoshi Kihara

October 5, 2021 3年生が食文化体験






黒田 譜美

The third-year students visited the Zeniya Gohei Memorial Museum and the Yamato Soysause & Miso Kouji Park as part of the Global Life and Culture class.

Zeniya Gohei was a successful merchant who sailed the Japan Sea during the late Edo period. The museum displays his handwritten journal, antique items such as compasses and telescopes, and a 1/4 scale model of his Kitamae-bune cargo ship “Jyohou-maru”, so you could get a picture of what it was like at the time. There are theories suggesting that Zeniya Gohei sailed to Tasmania and even America during the period of isolation; which Pauline sensei was surprised to hear. (Inoue-kun and Sato-kun translated for her. Thank you!)

Next, we visited the Yamato Soysause & Miso Kouji Park near Kanazawa Port. (*Kouji = malted rice or other grains) We bathed our hands in warm kouji water (it makes your skin silky smooth!) and compared smell and taste of miso with different fermentation periods. It was an opportunity to experience kouji and miso with all five senses. The six-month-old miso was a paler color and gently sweet compared to the one-year-old miso, which was rich in flavor and in smell. Kouji is a national fungus that the Japanese have passed down threw the ages. Miso created with kouji is an excellent fermented product that includes mold, yeast fungus, bacteria all in one. The students received eight-month-old miso as a souvenir and immediately declared that they planned to make “tonjiru” (miso soup with pork and vegetables). On the way home, we viewed old boilers, chimneys, Ono River estuary where merchants used to unload their cargo, and the Japan Sea; and imagined the days when Kitamae-bune cargo ships sailed the ocean.

The topic was a familiar food we eat every day. However, the educational content scaled from small microorganisms to large topics such as trading and history. It was a beneficial trip that let us rethink the culture of food in Japan.

Fumi Kuroda

September 22, 2021 檜細工に関する講義とワークショップ

伝統工芸士の香月久代さんとスーザン メイさんを講師にお招きして






志鷹 英男

On September 17 (Fri), nineteen first- and second-year students participated in a “cypress weaving” seminar/workshop conducted by Ishikawa prefectural traditional craftsman, Hisayo Katsuki and Susan May, who belongs to the Hakusan-Tedori Geopark Promotion Council and studies cypress weaving under Kastuki-san while making and promoting works of her own. The seminar and workshop was held at 1:00 pm at the Hakusanroku Campus.

Cypress weaving is said to originate in Hakusanroku when a traveling monk taught the people of Fukase in Oguchi village (current Hakusan city, Fukase) how to weave an umbrella 400 years ago. In 1988, cypress weaving was certified as an official traditional craft of Ishikawa prefecture. The process of weaving thin cypress strips called “hinna” by hand has continued to this day. However, most of its successors are old age and the sustainability of the technique is becoming an issue.

After Susan-san’s 30 minute lecture in English, students began weaving a coaster. Each student received ten strips of “hinna”, which they sprayed water on before weaving because they break easily when dry. Our young engineers are accustomed to making digital things on their computers, but not so much with their hands, as many of them weaved and undid their work multiple times. Kastuki-san and Susan-san watched the students’ progress and took turns giving them detailed support. Everyone finished their coaster in about an hour and a half.

Katsuki-san explained that “The method we used today is called ‘ajiro-ami’ and is the most basic way of weaving. You can make a placemat if you use longer strips.” It was a valuable experience to learn directly from a traditional craftsman and see her skills.

At ICT, students have the opportunity to experience local industries and traditional arts and crafts, and communicate with different age groups of the community through our education focused on the SDGs and regional revitalization. This cypress weaving workshop is part of that goal and is the second time we have held it at the Hakusanroku Campus since last year. This year we also shared the experience with Thailand’s Geopark Promotional Region, which is associated with Hakusan-tedorigawa Geopark, via Zoom.

Hideo Shitaka

September 14, 2021 ICT探検隊、瀬波川を遡上す



ここが本日一番の景勝スポット。学生たちは次々と岩の上からジャンプ。エメラルドのしぶきを跳ね上げながら水中に身を躍らせました。帰りの車中でフィリップ先生から感想を尋ねられた木下観くんは笑顔で、“The coldest experience of my life.”と答えていました。

潟辺 豊

It's KTB, the N&A Club supervisor. On September 12 (Sun), the N&A Club held the annual Senami rivier gorge climbing activity. Senami river is about 5 kilometers from the Hakusanroku Campus, and is a tributary to the larger Tedori river.Tedori river is often muddy with sand broken off from Mt. Hakusan, but Senami river is clear and beautiful (as you can see in the pictures above).

Members gathered at 12:30 pm and moved to Hakusanroku Shonen-no-ie to gear up with helmets and lifejackets. When everyone was ready, we drove to the parking lot in front of Hakusanri Onsen and made our descent to the river bed. After getting our feet used to the water, Owari coach gave a lecture about the dangers in the river before we began our journey. There is no set path for gorge climbing. You can walk along the rocky bank, swim (this however will give you the shivers before long because the water temperature was only 18 degrees celsius), and use ropes to pull yourself along. Each student chose paths that they liked, and we finally reached a small pool of jade green crystal clear water.

This beautiful site was the payoff of our journey. Students took turns jumping of the rocks above, diving into the water with emerald colored splashes. When asked by Philip sensei on the way home, Kan Kinoshita remarked that it was "The coldest experience of my life" with a big grin on his face.  

Yutaka Katabe


August 27, 2021 イングリッシュカフェ





Hello everyone! Every month I lead an event called English Café at Oguchi Community Centre. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing pandemic and the extreme summer heat, we have only been able to hold one event in the 2021 academic year.

This year, the community centre staff and I decided to focus on English that would be useful for travelling. For June’s English Café, the situation was buying souvenirs in a shop. For the first half of the hour, we learnt and practiced useful phrases together. At the halfway point we took a quick break, then came the really fun part: the community centre staff had worked really hard to buy a selection of snacks, print off paper “money”, and prepare paper bags so we could pretend we were in an old-fashioned sweetshop! Everyone took turns to come up and “buy” their favourite snacks using the phrases they had just learnt. Everyone, from older people to nursery-age children, had fun.

The next English Café is scheduled for September, and we are planning to focus on useful phrases for the airport and on an aeroplane. I’m really happy to have this kind of opportunity to interact with other members of the local community.

James Taylor (English Department)

July 28, 2021 白山登山




潟辺 豊

KTB, coach of the N&A Club here. The N&A Club held our annual Mt. Hakusan climb on July 16 (Fri). We left the Hakusanroku Campus at 5 am and arrived at the starting point (Betto-deai) at 6. After submitting a climbing registration form, we began our climb. This year we chose the more advanced but more beautiful and less crowded Kanko-shindo instead of the Sabo-shindo that we used last year. Student members that participated were Oishi Imaru, Okuyama Mahiro, Kan Kinoshita, Lucas Kusamoto (S1), Katsukata Masamune, Sakei Ryo, and the captain Nakazato Yuma (S2).

Kanko-shindo is a path along the mountain ridge, so there is always a beautiful view and a cool breeze to push you along. The sweet fragrance of Japanese lilies (language of flower: elegant) surrounded us as we pushed on steadily up the mountain. We rested at Tono-ga-ike shelter hut, took a group photo at Mida-ga-hara at 10:30, and arrived at Murodo at 11 o’clock. Students happily dug into their packed lunch prepared by the cafeteria and cup noodles their brought with them. Initially, we planned to leave at noon, but the students were so eager to get going, so we began our final assent at 11:40. By 12:30, everyone had reached the peak with blue skies and bustling white clouds and showed big smiles for the camera.

To go nice on our knees, we chose the less steep Sabo-shindo on the way down. The weather forecast predicted some rain so we came prepared but never saw a single drop the whole way. Instead, students’ skin was red from sun burn. Still, two invincible students (Lucas and Yuma) had enough strength for a three hour bike ride to the ocean the very next day.

Katabe Yutaka

July 19, 3年生が永光寺で参禅体験

 3年生が「生活と文化」の学外授業で洞谷山永光寺(とうこくさん ようこうじ)を訪れ、参禅体験を行いました。







黒田 譜美

The third year students visited Dokosan-Yokoji temple as fieldwork to practice Zen meditation for their Global Life and Culture class.

Yokoji is a temple of the Soto school. After walking through the wooden sanmon (main gate), we passed many Buddhist monks and I could sense the students nervousness. We learned basic manners from Mr. Manjo such as the correct hand positions for praying and meditating, and how to walk. Then, we returned to the main temple and listened to a lecture about the correct mindset and how to sit. Finally, we moved to the monastery that holds the Buddhist statue Monju-Bosatsu (文殊菩薩座像) and meditated for forty minutes. The students' goal was to find peace in their heart by sitting while facing the wall, appreciating the sound of the bell and birds, and concentrating on their posture and breath.

Some comments by the students after the meditation:
Inoue-san said "My legs are stiff. I need to do this more often" with a wryly smile.
Hatanaka-san looked refreshed and said "It only felt like 10 minutes"
Sato-san was still contemplating the experience and voiced the question "I wonder what the purpose of sitting is?"
Kato-san, who requested "Don't hesitate to strike me harder when its my turn" later remarked that "It hurt A LOT" with a big smile on his face as always.

Afterward, we drank tea and ate sweats, and listened to Majo-san talk about how life is born from life, words exist, therefore "I" am, and that "I" exists only once. Also the following haiku:

careful watching_
shepherd’s purses in bloom
under the hedge

a sound of a frog
jumping into water_
the old pond


Both are famous haikus by Basho. We were given the homework to contemplate what he wanted to convey with them.

It was a short field trip, but the students were able to leave their busy routine to appreciate nature and history, and observe themselves within.

Fumi Kuroda

July 10, 2021





Hello, I'm Shii Yamazaki, a second-year student of the Department of Science and Technology. Last month, we visited Yamadachi-kai as part of the Engineering Design class. We listened to Arimoto CEO's lecture and experienced sheep shearing. The thing I remember the most from Arimoto-san's lecture was why he decided to start Yamadachi-kai's sheep business. I have lived in Ishikawa for sixteen years, but I never thought about its good points or how the Ichikawa brand could grow. However, Arimoto-san gave the reasons "Ishikawa has no special livestock", "there is no place to play in Hakusanroku", and "sheep are unaffected by wild animals and snow." Hearing this, I realized that it was different from any other local speciality or tradition in Ishikawa prefecture has tried or forced on to tourists. I felt like it is a new perspective that tourists can relate to.

Also as Arimoto-san said, not only are statuses such as animal welfare important to create a new brand, but also design, logo, and concept. I believe the suggestions that Afaf proposed have a lot of demand too.

The sheep shearing looked easy at first, but was actually very difficult because the clipper was heavy and the vibration transmitted to me. However, it felt good when I could smoothly shear the wool off the sheep after I had a lot of practice and got used to it. Also, I fell in love with the sheep and wanted to be become better at it. I want to try again in the future.

Shii Yamazaki

June 23, 2021 Report from Hakusanroku (June)








Hi, it's Jonathan, the cameraman. June has brought warm weather to Hakusanroku and I see more and more people wearing t-shirts as summer approaches. Here are three events that happened in the past month. 

On June 1 (Tue), The Agri-tech team was interviewed by MRO Hokuriku Broadcasting during Engineering Design IIA class. The Agri-tech team has succeeded last year's project, and is creating a system to protect crops from wild monkeys using AI. This year's second year students aim to implement a function to drive away monkeys detected by the system. The television crew filmed scenes of the students asking local farmers about the magnitude of damage on their crops and what they think is the best method to drive monkeys away, and scenes of them explaining their goals of the year. The program was broadcasted on "Leosuta" on June 9 (Wed). Last year's Agri-tech team won the highest award of the "U-21 Institute of Electrical Engineers of Japan" and the level of attention on this project is growing.

On June 3 (Thu), four second year students of the Agri-business teams visited Yamadachikai, which has lately begun herding sheep in Kinameri district near Hakusanroku Campus. The Agri-business team is growing and selling local branded sweet potatoes "Kosen Beni Haruka" and Yamazaki sensei organized this visit to listen to the representative of Yamadachikai talk about his experience staring a agricultural business in Hakusanroku.

Yamadachikai's sheep business began when they were approached by the team of Ishida professor of Ishikawa Prefectural University who was doing research on the possibility of a sustainable business model selling lamb meat herded and sold in the local area. Arimoto-san, the representative of Yamadachikai, accepted this offer after agreeing that Hakusanroku lacked local branded livestock and daytime activities for tourists. Also, sheep are unaffected by the harsh winter season and wild animals in the area, which are difficulties of other products. In the presentation he gave to the students, Arimoto-san explained the annual schedule of selling lamb meat, the company's table of income and expenditure, their long-term goal of a profit of 5 million yen in five years, the necessary facilities they plan to purchase, etc. To accomplish this, Arimoto-san has utilized crowdfunding, applied for financial support from the government, and tried multiple methods to increase the price of their meat. He also plans to contribute to the local tourist scene by letting people feed and shear the sheep, and selling BBQ meat to campers. Arimoto-san understood that making a profit with sheep wasn't going to be easy in Hakusanroku, but he took on the challenge and came up with ideas to create a successful business. The second year students listened intently and took notes. There also was a QA session after the lecture that lasted ten minutes as Arimoto-san and students exchanged ideas.

After the lecture, students tried out shearing the sheep. Later, they commented "It looked easy at first but the electric clipper was heavy and difficult to keep steady due to the vibration, but once I got used to it, it felt good as the wool came off" and "I grew fond of the sheep."

On June 20 (Sun), the Nature & Adventure Club went hiking at Mt. Wasso-ga-take, which is a mountain of an altitude of 1,097 meters with a hiking course about ten minutes by car from Hakusanroku Campus. Participants were five club members, Yamazaki sensei, Katabe sensei, Philip sensei, Owari coach, and myself; a total of ten people. Most of the hiking course is through the forest, which shaded us from the hot sun. During breaks, Owari coach showed us wild herbs such as "Kuromoji", trees that bears had peeled the bark off, and flowers such as koajisai (Hydrangea hirta). We left Hakusanroku Campus at 8:30 am and reached the top of Wasso-ga-take around 11:15. Usually you can see Mt. Hakusan from this point. However, sadly it was hidden by low clouds. We ate an early lunch and headed to a neighboring mountain called Shironuki-yama (891m) before descending back down the trail. Students were full of energy and sometimes ran down the path or climbed trees along the way. Next month, they plan to climb Mt. Hakusan itself so this hike was a nice warm up ahead of time.


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