Passing on the culture of steep-slope land agriculture to future generations

Haruki Nishiokada and Setsuko Nishiokada
(Tsurugi Town)

Mr. and Mrs. Nishiokada's farm in Sadamitsu Sarukai in Tsurugi is a symbolic place for Nishi Awa's steep-slope farming.

They grow kidney beans in summer and buckwheat in fall. It is also a famous tourist farm because of the beauty of the valley at the bottom of its steep slopes and the surrounding mountains.

They value local agricultural culture as much as cultivation.

That is the traditional event "Oinokosan."
Oinokosan" is a traditional event held on the first day of the boar in October of the lunar calendar as a prayer for plentiful harvests and family safety. There has long been a tradition of children participating in events in this area. Since there are no children in this region, children from Sadamitsu Elementary School visit the Sarukai community to conduct the event.

While singing "Inokouta," children go around the eaves of the houses and beat the "Iichintara," a stick with a taro stem in its core and a rope wrapped around it, pull the Kazura around the oak logs and lift a log and slam it into the ground which is called "Tatezuki." In the past, children used to travel from house to house to do this and receive sweetness in return.

Mr. and Mrs. Nishiokada served Barazushi, which contains buckwheat rice, to the children at this event, and they thought it was an opportunity for children to learn about their hometown's taste. Children taste Barazushi made from buckwheat rice that Mr. and Mrs. Nishiokada had carefully cultivated on their steep-slope farms.

Nishi Awa has retained various cultures related to agriculture. Traditional community events are passed down from old couples to the next generation.