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

September 12, 2019 Volunteer work at the Ultra Marathon

Hello, it's Jonathan the camera man. On, September 8th, Hakusan city held its annual Hakusan Shirakawa-go Ultra Marathon and seven students from ICT's Hakusanroku campus volunteered as staff members for the 44 km water station. The Ultra Marathon is 100 km long, so 44 km is only almost half way. However our water station near ICT was the first stop after crossing the mountain and runners happily stopped to drink, eat, or refresh themselves. We had beautiful skies, which meant is was also extremely hot. Students served cool drinks and poured water on runners, which many requested. There were more than 2000 participants in the Ultra Marathon and three from ICT: our Robocon and Engineering Design teacher Ise-sensei, our PE teacher Philip-sensei, and Honda-san from the Hakusanroku office. The students cheered on the runners and the water station ran smoothly throughout the race thanks to their hard work.


July 29, 2019 ICT Global Summer Camp

Hello, it's Jonathan, the camera man. Today I would like to give my report on the ICT Global Summer Camp. From July 21-24, six Thai students and 21 Japanese students gathered at Hakusanroku campus for a four day workshop. This Global Summer Camp is actually the collaboration of two separate groups: the International summer camp of Thai students and the summer workshop of Japanese students from JOES (Japan Overseas Educational Services.) The 27 participants, which mostly consisted of middle school students, used design thinking to study the history and wildlife of the local Hakusanroku area and design a new attraction for tourists. Students learned how to use drones, laser cutters, and video editing to document and create a presentation of the various places and activities they experienced during the program.

The six Thai students arrived a couple of days before the program. On July 20 (SAT) we took a trip to Kanazawa. First, we visited President Lewis Barksdale at the ICT Kanazawa campus. Then, we took a tour of the facilities of Kanazawa Institute of Technology's (KIT) Library Center and Yume Kobo. At KIT's library, we viewed the special assortment of rare books written by historical scientists and the PMC (Popular Music Collection), a collection of 250,000 music records. In the afternoon we moved to Kanazawa city to do some sightseeing at Higashi-chaya-gai (east tea house district), Kanazawa castle, Kenrokuen garden, and the 21st century museum. The Thai students took a gold leaf crafting course at Sakuda Gold Leaf Crafts and experienced many forms of Japanese culture for the first time.

The Global Summer Camp officially began with the arrival of the JOES students on Sunday. The next day, we departed from ICT to explore the wildlife of Hakusanroku. After viewing the Fukube waterfall on the Hakusan Shirakawa-go White Road, we moved to the Chugu Nature Preservation Center to listened to the lecture of Mr. Shinichi Hiramatsu, an expert of the wildlife of Mt. Hakusan. Mr. Hiramatsu explained about the four seasons and animals of Mt. Hakusan and showed a assortment of living reptiles and insects. Chugu Nature Preservation Center has many displays including bears, serows, monkeys, and the rare Golden Eagle. Students took pictures and videos to use later in their presentation. Next, we moved to the Jyatani river near the preservation center to test our drone flying skills. Students learned how to control drones on the previous evening, and practiced flying and video recording the beautiful scenery.

For the presentations, students worked in six groups. Each group designed a new attraction for the Hakusanroku area and created a poster presentation to suggest to Hakusan city. They also created a prototype souvenir using laser cutting, and a video to introduce what they learned and experienced during the program. Students worked hard throughout the program and the presentations took place on the morning of the final day. Parents, teachers, and members of the community gathered at Hakusanroku campus to watch their presentations, which you can view in the videos below. Afterwards, there was a poster session where viewers could walk around and ask questions to each group about their propositions and souvenirs. Finally, we held a closing and graduation ceremony. Satoshi Minami, promotional director of Hakusan city commented that he was surprised how thoroughly the students has researched the many aspects of Hakusanroku and that their insights were innovative and will be considered as a method to revitalize the area. Toji Makita spoke on behalf of the participating students saying that he truly appreciated the staff for providing this wonderful opportunity for them all. Students enjoyed one last lunch together at the cafeteria before departing from ICT.

This was my second time assisting the JOES summer program (you can read last year's article here) and I am happy with this year's results. Each group was remarkably organized and well prepared for their presentations. There were no last minute scrabbling or working after-hours. Each member of every group simply did a great job. I have a suspicion that this was partially due to how the facilitators assigned one Thai students to each group. The JOES students have lived abroad and are fluent in both English and Japanese. However, having one Thai student in each group encouraged them to use English during the program. I believe this helped them focus and improve their overall performance. It also added to the experience of working in a team of divers people with different backgrounds.

There were six students who returned to take this program for the second time and I hope everyone enjoyed the program enough that I can see many of them again next year. Your experience here using design thinking and working with your team to create something has grown you as future innovators of our world. Whether we meet again or not, I wish you the best of luck!




プレゼンテーションは6つのグループで行われました。各グループは白山麓に観光客を惹きつける新しい事業をデザインし、実際に白山市に提案するためにポスターを制作しました。さらに、レーザーカッターを使ったオリジナルのお土産のプロトタイプと、プログラムで体験した内容をまとめた動画を作りました。メンバーは連日準備に取り組み、最終日24日(水)の午前中に発表が行われました。発表を見るためにたくさんの保護者、先生、地元白山市の方々が集まりました。各グループの発表は上の動画で視聴することができます。発表のあとはポスターセッションがあり、見学者が歩き回りながら自由に質問ができる時間が設けられました。最後に閉会式と卒業式が執り行われ、白山市観光文化スポーツ部観光課 宣伝係主事の南智史さんは「非常によく白山の歴史や自然について調べていて驚いた。地域活性のための貴重なアイデアがたくさんあった」とコメントしました。また、参加者代表として牧田登治さん(中2)が「この機会を用意してくださった関係者にとても感謝しています」と挨拶しました。生徒たちは昼食をカフェテリアで食べたあと、それぞれ家路へとつきました。




June 28, 2019

Hey, it's Jonathan. Here is another report from Hakusanroku campus. On June 22 Saturday, the first and second year students had a special field trip to discover and learn more about the nature and history of the Hakusanroku area. We visited Ichinose Visitor Center to hike and learn about the wildlife of Mt. Hakusan, and explored Shiramine village and visited Rinsaiji Temple to learn about the history of the area. After dinner, the Nature & Adventure club joined a local event to go see fireflies. It was a jam-packed day, here at Hakusanroku.

Ichinose Visitor Center is the starting point for those climbing Mt. Hakusan from the Shiramine area. There are some hiking courses, displays of wildlife, an onsen ryokan, and a camping area next to the nearby river. Here we took a short hike into the mountains which lead to a vantage point where you can see Mt. Hakusan. Our guide, Mr. Shinichi Hiramatsu is an expert of the nature of this area, and pointed out various plants and insects as we hiked. It was drizzling slightly. However, we were happily surprised to find Mt. Hakusan beautifully visible from the vantage point.

After the hike, we returned to the visitor center to learn about the wildlife and history of Ichinose. Mr. Hiramatsu explained that Ichinose used to be a bustling town, famous for its many onsen baths and people climbing Mt. Hakusan. However, in 1934 a devastating flood hit Ichinose, destroying everything. This flood was due that year's heavy snowfall melting, and there is even a legend that to this day a thousand snakes are trapped under the eternal snow covering one of the lakes on top of Mt. Hakusan and a flood will occur again if the eternal snow ever thaws. Mr. Hiramatsu also showed many plants and animals of Mt. Hakusan, including how to distinguish plants and trees apart, videos of bears, wild boars, monkeys, antelopes, and gold eagles, and live lizards and insects he brought to the center. On the way to Shiramine, we stopped at the "Million Kan Rock." (1 Kan = 3.75kg) This huge rock was pushed 3 km down the river during the historical flood and stands as a landmark as a testament of its shear power.

In the afternoon, we moved to Shiramine village to investigate and learn about the area. Shiramine serves as a hub for people climbing Mt. Hakusan and has many historic and sightseeing-worthy locations. First, students explored the area on foot. Many students decided to visit the popular Snowman Cafe for some dessert. Fully refreshed, we next visited Rinsaiji temple to listen to the history of Mt. Hakusan and view the many Buddha statues displayed there. Mt. Hakusan was always a focus of worship and these statues used to exist on the mountain peak until the Separation of Shinto and Buddhism policy was deployed in 1863. At this time, many Buddha statues were brought down from the mountain to avoid being destroyed and eight such statues are on display here.

Later in the evening, there was an bonus event. Members of the Nature & Adventure club participated in a local event to see fireflies. This is an annual event held by the Oguchi Community Center. The ICT students and members of the local community traveled to the Dainichigawa river in Torigoe, which is about 15 minutes from the Hakusanroku campus by car. There were a surprising number of fireflies and the participants spent time taking pictures, catching, and simply observing a beautiful sight. Mr. Nakamura, a local and expert of fireflies, gave lectures on the insects and answered the students' questions. Some ICT students made friends with the local elementary school kids and everyone enjoyed a pleasant evening.

June 22 was a long and eventful day. Students learned much about the nature and history of the Hakusanroku area while also having a lot of fun. This is not our first time joining a local event or visiting a local sight of interest and I am continuously convinced that our location is crucial to becoming part of the local community; in addition to the convenience of being close and the ability to participate in such events at night thanks to our dormitories. I hope students had fun and found something of interest in the local area, which will help them create innovation in the future.


ジョナサンです。白山麓キャンパスからレポートをお届けします。6月22日(土)1~2年の学生が白山麓の自然や歴史について学ぶ特別活動を行いました。自然については市ノ瀬ビジターセンター、歴史については白峰村と林西寺をそれぞれ訪れ、地域についての理解を深めました。夕食後にはNature & Adventureクラブのメンバーが地元のホタル観察会に参加し、充実した一日を過ごしました。




日没後、Nature & Adventureクラブのメンバーは地元のホタル観察会に参加しました。このイベントは毎年尾口公民館によって開催されている恒例行事です。白山麓キャンパスから車で15分くらいの距離にある鳥越の大日川へ移動し、地元の方々と1時間ほどホタルを観察しました。驚くほどたくさんのホタルがおり、学生たちは写真を撮ったり、ホタルを捕まえたり、美しい光景を眺めたりしていました。また、ホタルに詳しい地元の中村さんが生態について解説したり、学生の質問に答えたりしました。地元の小学生と遊ぶICT学生もいて、皆が楽しい時間を過ごしました。



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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