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Miasa village
Nihongo

Gallery:
See also: Old prints about hemp farming (large)
See also: Kiseru pipes
See also: The floating world
See also: Miasa village (Nagano prefecture)
See also: Hemp in Gunma prefecture
See also: Hemp and sumo
See also: Asa no ha
See also: Other hemp images

See also:
See also: The "Hemp in Japan" Library
See also: Hemp cultivation, Hemp tools, Hemp museum, Hemp house

Miasa village in Nagano

Miasa Mura, located in the Japanese Northern Alps in Nagano prefecture has a population of about 1500 people today. In the year Meiji 8 (1875) it received its name meaning "beautiful hemp village" in recognition of its long tradition of producing Hemp, which has been grown here since the Yayoi period, 2000 years ago. Hemp from here was known as yamanaka asa (Hemp from the Mountains). During the Edo period demand for hemp soared and the hemp industry in Miasa Mura thrived. The village brochure shown here still proudly boasts a hemp leaf on its cover.

After WWII the demand for hemp dropped dramatically and in 1947 the US military goverment passed a law, the Taima Torishimari Hô (the Hemp control act) which made it a crime to cultivate hemp without a license. Agricultural production finally came to a halt in 1965, though hemp still grows as a weed in some places in the mountains.

Brochure of Miasa village with hemp leaf on cover
Asa no Yakata (Hemp museum) Even though the production of hemp in Miasa Mura has stopped, the history and tradition have been preserved by the efforts of Mr. Nakamura, a former village chief who built Asa no Yakata (the Hemp Museum) and left his 300 year old house (which was built using hemp) to the village. This is now recognised as a national heritage site.

This is a map of the village from the web site of Miasa Junior Highschool. The green wheel at the bottom is a spinning wheel for hemp flax (note the character for hemp), indicating the site of the hemp museum.

The sign to the left of it says "House of Mr. Nakamura", referring to the former village chief's hemp house.

Village map of Miasa with hemp museum
The village has it's own Miasa Mura homepage in Japanese on the internet.

Miasa is twinned with Mendocino, California.


See also:
See also: Hemp cultivation (many pictures), Hemp tools
See also: Hemp museum, Building with Hemp


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