Areas where flax cultivation is flourishing-World and Japan-
The pretty light purple flowers that bloom all over the area, and the beauty of the flax flower field in early summer heals people. In addition to being fascinated by flowers, flax is a very special plant that makes beautiful linen by taking fiber from its stems. Introducing the area where flax is cultivated along with its history.
Flax producing areas in the world
The origin of flax was arid land in Central Asia, but now it is cultivated in cold regions. For this reason, flax is vulnerable to heat, resistant to dryness, and durable. First, let's take a look at the flax producing areas in the world.
France ranks first in flax production
According to the Global Note's "World Flax Production / Country Ranking" (updated January 4, 2019), which publishes more than 1,600 types of international statistics from more than 170 countries around the world, France is the number one producer of flax. ..
France boasts a production of about 600,000 tons, which is far behind the second largest Belgium, about 70,000 tons.
Since flax grows in cold regions, northern France such as Normandy, Curry and Flanders is the main production area in France. These areas have four seasons and are blessed with a mild climate despite the high latitude. In France and northern France, which are agricultural countries, there are many special products such as wheat, cheese and wine, and flax is also actively cultivated in such land.
Regarding the current state of flax cultivation in France
Let me introduce how flax is cultivated in France, which is the number one producer of flax. After sowing, the grown flax bears fruit from July to August. During this time, flax is machined cleanly with its roots removed. If flax is continuously cultivated on the same land, the soil will become thin and the quality will deteriorate. Therefore, for five years, crop rotations are made to produce different crops.
The harvested flax grass is first seeded and then put into a process called letting to dry it. Letting is a process that makes it easier to remove the fibers from the flux stalk. By letting the harvested flux lie in the field for about one to one and a half months and exposing it to nature such as sunlight and rain, the extra elements in the stem will rot and unnecessary things other than fiber will be rotted. You can get rid of it. Then, we move on to a process called scuffing, which takes out linen fibers from flax grass. Some are also subjected to a process just before making a thread called a sliver. It is inspected there and divided into 10 grades according to the length and quality of the linen fibers. The linen that is carefully made in France in this way is called French linen, and is highly evaluated for its finest texture and texture.
Hokkaido is the center of flax cultivation in Japan
Flax is also cultivated in Japan. For flax, which prefers cold regions, Hokkaido is the only place for flax cultivation in Japan.
Hokkaido is the only flax producing area in Japan
Flax is cultivated only in Hokkaido in Japan. The reason is the climate suitable for flax cultivation. In particular, Tobetsu Town in Ishikari District, Hokkaido is famous.
Tobetsu Town is located about 20 to 30 km northeast of Sapporo City and has a population of about 16,000. According to the website of the Hokkaido Regional Development Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, flax was widely cultivated in Hokkaido until the 1965's for the purpose of collecting fiber. However, with the rise of chemical fibers, flax has disappeared. We reviewed flax as a "resource of Hokkaido" again, focused on its seeds (linseed oil) as a "Hokkaido brand", and started activities to revitalize the region along with the landscape of flowers. In addition, flax cultivation is also carried out in Sapporo City, Tsukigata Town, Shintotsukawa Town, Assabu Town, etc.
Next, I would like to introduce the "Flax Festival" that attracts many people as part of the activities carried out in Tobetsu Town. This event is held only in Tobetsu Town, which is not found in any land in Japan.
Hokkaido flax festival
There is a special "Hokkaido Flax Festival" which has become one of the traditions of Hokkaido. This flax festival is held from late June to early July when flax flowers are in full bloom. The pretty and light purple flowers of flax disperse in a day, but they also bloom only in the morning. To see the flaxseed field, you need to get up early and go out. However, the sight of the flax flowers spreading in front of you is worth getting up early.
At the flax festival, you can see flax flower fields, exhibit the process of flax turning into linen, sell flaxseed foods and agricultural products in Tobetsu Town, and it is crowded with many people every year.
The flax festival is a special event only in Tobetsu Town in Japan, where you can experience flax-related experiences in the wilderness, such as the picturesque scenery of the blue sky and light purple flowers, and flaxseed oil, which has a high health effect.
Flax festival information
Location: 2796-1 Higashiura, Tobetsu-cho, Ishikari-gun, Hokkaido Former Higashiura Elementary School
Time: 7: 00-13: 00
Inquiries: Tobetsu Town Tourism Association TEL0133-23-3073 Flax Village TEL0800-900-4149
Official site: http://www.town.tobetsu.hokkaido.jp
History of Hokkaido and flax
Hokkaido, the only cultivated area for flax. Its climate is suitable for flax cultivation, and it was one of the important industries for the people of Hokkaido. However, flax cultivation has not continued smoothly since it first started, and it has disappeared once. Let me introduce the history of Hokkaido and flax, and how flax cultivation has revived.
History of Hokkaido and flax
Flax cultivation in Japan dates back to the Meiji era, the 19th century. In 1874, Takeaki Enomoto, one of the central figures of the Meiji Restoration, went to Russia as a minister. Enomoto sent flax seeds from Russia to Japan.
This was a proposal by Thomas Antisell, a pioneer of Hokkaido who was in the early Meiji era. Then, as part of the development of Hokkaido, flax cultivation began at the government-owned flax factory. After that, the factory will be taken over by a private company called Teikoku Textile. A lot of flax was also transported from Tobetsu to a textile factory in Sapporo. At its peak, there were 85 flax factories in Hokkaido. After that, during World War II, linen cultivation reached its peak, and flax cultivation peaked. At that time, the planted area was estimated to be about 50,000 hectares, and it was cultivated in a vast area throughout Hokkaido, especially in the Tokachi region. This is about 600 golf courses, so you can see how flax cultivation was popular. Thanks to the flax-related business, hospitals, inns, theaters, etc. lined up around the factory, making it a vibrant town. However, changes occur in the 40s of the Showa era. Chemical fibers have become widespread. Flax cultivation disappeared completely in the 1960s due to the lack of demand for military supplies and the widespread use of chemical fibers.
Revival of flax cultivation
In Tobetsu Town, there is a company called Hama Kosha Co., Ltd., which was established in 2004. Let's take a look at the history of flax from the flax public corporation homepage. It used to be flax cultivation in Hokkaido, which once disappeared, but in 2001, a trial cultivation of flax business by a Hokkaido technical consultant will start. Then, in 2004, the flax public corporation was established in Sapporo City, and by 2006, the planted area of about 9 hectares was increased and linen cultivation was revived. In addition, the flax business will begin in earnest with the flax production association.
Flax public corporation aims to regain the beautiful scenery of flax flowers in full bloom, and pays attention to the health effects of flaxseed oil, and will continue to carry out trial cultivation for more than ten years and develop technology.
And, for the first time in about 40 years, flax cultivation in Hokkaido was revived. This activity is called the "Flax Renaissance Project".
Cultivating flax moisturizes the local industry. It is done by the people of northern France and Hokkaido. However, it has the concept of providing beautiful things and good things for the body, rather than a commercial business. The flower language of flax is "gratitude", and if you appreciate the blessings of nature that can never be made with chemical fibers, there is no doubt that flax cultivation and related linen and flaxseed oil will continue to be popular for a long time.