Aichi Spotlight: Ichinomiya
This article is courtesy of Ren Ito, who is a Japanese student spending part of his summer in the Dallas area. We are privileged to learn more his hometown of Ichinomiya in Aichi prefecture. Please also visit our Facebook and Instagram social media pages at www.facebook.com/jasdfw and www.instagram.com/jasdfw for posts on connections between Aichi and Texas.
By Ren Ito
Do you know the city of Ichinomiya in Aichi Prefecture? Ichinomiya City has many highlights, such as its annual Tanabata Festival, textile industry, and a special breakfast meal called Morning. I would like to introduce these three things in detail and let you know a lot about them.
Tanabata in Ichinomiya
Ichinomiya is known for its Tanabata festival(一宮七夕まつり). This festival began in 1956, when the city was still recovering from war, with hopes for regional development, city growth, and further development of the textile industry because Ichinomiya was famous as a textile production center at the time. Since Orihime (織姫), one of the key characters in the Tanabata legend, is closely related to textiles, the festival was held as a Tanabata event rather than a non-aligned festival. The name of the festival is “Orimono (織物) Thanksgiving Festival Ichinomiya Tanabata Matsuri(七夕まつり)”, which is a remnant of the past. Ichinomiya’s Tanabata festival is sometimes referred to as one of the three major Tanabata celebrations in Japan, along with festivities in Sendai of Miyagi prefecture and Shounanhiratuka of Kanagawa.
Ichinomiya’s traditional crafts
Ichinomiya is famous for its textile production (繊維産業) and was once of the world’s leading producers in this industry. Traditionally, many female textile employees worked in the fabric (織物) and spinning (紡績) factories. For this reason, the city was called the “city of women weavers(女工の街).” The history of the textile industry dates back to the Heian period (平安時代), however, much of the textile industry (繊維産業) in recent years has moved overseas. The former fabric (織物), spinning (紡績), and textile mills (繊維) have now been repurposed into residential areas and commercial facilities.
Ichinomiya’s morning breakfast meal
Since textile and related industries were flourishing in Japan, many places for drinking tea and coffee became common venues for business meetings. One day, the owner of a coffee shop offered breakfast with tea, a service that became popular and led to a special morning culture. In addition, Morning (モーニング) assortments are usually made with toast, a type of bread topped with red bean paste, eggs, and salad. Modern Mornings include a savory egg custard (茶わん蒸し), miso soup (お味噌汁), sushi (寿司), pasta (パスタ), and assorted items that are not traditionally served with coffee. Ichinomiya also holds an annual event called the “Morning Exposition (モーニング博覧会),” which is featured in the Ichinomiya Morning Map. This map lists many Morning stores, so that you visitors many variations of the breakfast meal.
What do you think about the Tanabata Festival, the textile industry, Mornings, which all represent Ichinomiya City? Did you have a chance to learn more about this interesting desintation? The culture, history, and food of Ichinomiya each have their own unique characteristics. Come to visit Ichinomiya soon and learn about its culture, history, and food!