Flax festival to be held in Hokkaido
Currently, Hokkaido is the only area in Japan where flax is cultivated. Among them, Tobetsu Town in Hokkaido has a strong desire for flax and holds a flax festival every year. I would like to introduce the flax public corporation and its festival, which are passionate about flax reconstruction.
Flax festival in Tobetsu
Tobetsu-cho, Ishikari-gun, Hokkaido is a major production area for flax. In Tobetsu Town, the "Hokkaido Flax Festival" is held at the time when flax flowers are in full bloom. The image of a regular festival is that it takes two to three days on weekends to hold various events, but this flax festival is a very interesting festival that is held for one day and is held from 7:00 in the morning. is. I will explain in more detail below.
Hokkaido flax festival
At the "Hokkaido Flax Festival," there are stores related to flax, such as an exhibition about flax plants, sales of Tobetsu-cho product exhibitions, sales of products made from flax, and booths dealing with food made from flax nuts.
In addition, there are plenty of projects such as flax fiber collection, spinning demonstrations and experiences, and a singing competition with the theme of "flax-colored hair maiden." It will be held from late June to early July when flax flowers are in full bloom. The holding time is usually from 7:00 to 13:30, and the start time is early and the end time is also early, but in fact there is a reason based on the characteristics of flax flowers.
Flax seeds are usually sown between April and May each year. It will grow even after that, but due to its vulnerable nature to heat, it will not grow tall and the number of flowers will decrease. The seeds are sown in this way, and about one and a half months after germination, the height grows to 60 cm, and the flowers bloom in about two months. The color of the small flowers is a beautiful blue color reminiscent of Nemophylla. Since it has thin stems, the entire flax field sways when the wind blows, making it a very beautiful sight.
This flax flower blooms at sunrise, begins to wither as early as 10 o'clock, and disperses by noon.
In other words, it is a very ephemeral flower. Because of these characteristics, the "flax festival" is held early.
Regarding the movement to revive flax cultivation
In Japan, flax plants were cultivated in the Edo period to use seeds as medicine. However, it did not continue endlessly after that, and since flax cultivation started in Hokkaido in the Meiji era to consume fiber, it stopped once in the 1965s. Nowadays, flaxseed oil, which can be obtained from flax, and linen products, which are often used by many people, are in demand, and the world's flax production is increasing. Therefore, with the desire to revive flax and flax products, which have a long history in Japan, in Hokkaido, producers have been reviewing the cultivation method for a long time and reviving flax cultivation.
Only Hokkaido is cultivating flax in Japan
Hokkaido is the only area where flax cultivation is currently practiced in Japan. The reason is the nature of flax. The origin of flax is the arid region of Central Asia. It is a strong plant and can be grown regardless of the quality of the soil. It is also resistant to dryness, so you don't need to water it often.
However, it is said that flax is suitable for growing in cold regions, and in fact, the major producing countries at present are often cold regions such as Russia and northern France. Flax that is vulnerable to heat and withers at high temperatures. Therefore, Hokkaido was the most suitable for cultivation in Japan.
Regarding Hokkaido and flax production
Flax cultivation in Hokkaido, which has once stopped. However, producers want to revive this historic plant flax again in Hokkaido. These are the Flax Corporation and the Flax Production Association, which are currently engaged in flax cultivation in Tobetsu Town. However, it was not easy to cultivate flax once it had stopped, and it was necessary to establish a cultivation method from scratch. After many years of trial cultivation, we have succeeded in cultivating flax plants grown without using pesticides.
About flax public corporation
In 2001, the flax public corporation revived flax cultivation in Hokkaido for the first time in about 40 years. We are a company that handles the planning, manufacturing, and sales of flax-based products that are kind to the human body.
By engaging in all of this, we also want to build a flax industry cluster and lead to regional revitalization. For cultivation, we have formed a flax production association with contract farmers in Tobetsu Town and Shintotsukawa Town, and we manufacture ourselves and sell it in-house. By doing it on our own site without outsourcing to, we are able to firmly convey the charm of flax. Because flax is made by local people, events such as the "Flax Festival" are also thriving and are accepted by many tourists as part of the town revitalization.
Tobetsu Town, the production center of flax in Hokkaido
Flax cultivation began in Tobetsu-cho in 1897, declined in the 1965s, and with the rise and spread of chemical fibers, flax once disappeared from the land of Hokkaido. However, since 2001, the flax public corporation has revived flax cultivation in Tobetsu-cho, wondering if it is possible to realize regional revitalization by utilizing products that can be obtained from flax, which should not keep this historic crop flax extinct.
The flax production association is engaged in flax cultivation in cooperation with the flax public corporation.
It has been about 40 years since the decline of flax cultivation, and it started from scratch without any technology. It is said that flax, which is the raw material for selling it as a safe product, has been cultivated on a trial basis for more than a dozen years and has built up the technology to this day. As a result of the hard work of this farmer, in Tobetsu-cho, you can see pretty blue flowers all over the flax field when the flax flowers bloom.
The flax festival "Hokkaido Flax Festival" is held in Hokkaido. Various stores will be set up, such as an exhibition about flax, products made from flax and agricultural products from Tobetsu Town, and a booth where you can enjoy food made from flax seeds. Besides that, you can also see the experience and demonstration of spinning using the yarn taken from flax fiber. This "flax festival" is held from late June to early July when flax flowers can be seen, and is held for one day. It starts at 7am and ends in the afternoon because the flax flowers are only seen for a short time. Flax flowers are also known to be very ephemeral, and if they bloom at sunrise, they will disperse around noon. Therefore, it is held on one day and the holding time is early in the morning.