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Masuichi Kyakuden
In the past, establishments such as ryokan and hotels didn't exist out in the country in Japan. When important people from the capital, or traveling artists or performers arrived, it was the role of the patron to give them a meal and a place to sleep. In more recent times, at the start of the 30th year of Showa (1955) when there was a grand sumo tournament revival in Obuse (the tour of the Takashima stable), the fact that the wrestlers were able to stay in several different houses proves that the custom still remains. The exchanges that take place over nights like that truly are important. Based on this, and conceived as a place to receive and serve guests and travelers, the Masuichi Guest House was constructed. It serves as the creation (or re-creation) of a place to gather culture and intellectual stimuli from across the country.



Obuse mini Marathon
The last time Obuse was included in the Nagano Marathon course was April 2003, it was quickly decided that three months later on Marine Day of 2003 that Obuse would host its own separate event, the Obuse mini Marathon, a half-marathon. Using the catchphrase "There's no Ocean in Obuse, but We're Making Waves," the mini Marathon is a unique race, run through streets and riverbanks, and ending up in temporary roads. Also, it is famous for the cheers or the people along the roadsides, and the "Running in Harmony" (Enso in Japanese, which also can mean performance); many amateur bands and volunteer performers playing along the way. However, the thing worth special note is not the main event, but the home-made event that the townspeople and volunteers have created without any government subsidy.


The first Obusession was held on August 8th of 2001. Obusession is held whenever the day matches the month (June 6th, July 7th, and so on) except for January when it is held on the 11th, and currently over 60 events of this culture salon have been set up. Each time the guest speaker is from a different genre, afterwards a party is held for all the participants, and since about half of the participants are local, the party provides a thrilling opportunity for meeting and exchange.


The Club
A Japanese restaurant opened in the fall of 1998, the year the Winter Olympics were held in Nagano. Out of all the people participating in sake brewing, the head overseer is called the Toji, and the place where the brewers gather and eat their meals is called the yori-tsuki. Because we hope that this place, where the culture of everyday life took place between the brewers, would become a place to color the lives of our customers in a modern way, we hope you enjoy our "Yoritsuki Ryori" (at-home style healthy, simple yet simply delicious food that the sake brewers enjoy during the sake making season), rice boiled in an old-fashioned wood-burning stove, and charcoal-broiled seafood and vegetables.



Nagano Olympic
During the Nagano Olympics, Obusedo participated in the Hospitality Program, and served as a meeting place to receive the English Olympic Committee. 12 parties were held in the Obusedo Main Store, The Club (at that time a temporary party venue), and also on the second floor of a main house. During the Olympics, the Hokusai Museum was open until 8 in the evening, and sometimes served as a location for welcome drinks. Also, performances of Hokusai Taiko echoed through the winter night and truly gave Obuse a fantastic atmosphere.


International Hokusai Conference and Hokusai Festival
In April of 1998, after the Nagano Olympics had ended, Obuse with a population of 12,000 people was able to make use of the volunteer interpreters remaining to hold an international event, and thus the 3rd International Hokusai Conference was opened. Hokusai researchers, students, and art dealers from all around the world attended this academic conference, 350 from Japan and 150 from overseas, bringing the total to 500 people. This combined with the Hokusai Festival, visually defined Obuse as the town of Hokusai. Also, the "Hokusai" A bridge from East to West "gallery" opened at the Shinano Prefectural Art Museum and gallery talks held amongst the conference participants. The visitors to this exhibit, together with those held in Tohoku and Yamaguchi have reached a total of one hundred and twenty thousand people.


After hearing about the world's first household participation-type art event in Belgium's city of Ghent in 1986, there were plans to hold the world's second such art event the autumn of the following year in Obuse, calling it "Obuse-kei." This exhibition of modern sculpture was limited to only the Obusedo area, but later the household participation-type event was realized in the entire Obuse region as the "My House is an Art Gallery" joint event. However in 1998 the German city of M_nster held another household participation-type art event, so it ended up being the third such event in the world.



Ichi-Gomi-Zero Project
Order and arrangement is the base of Japanese culture. Everyone has an area they take pride in and keep clean, but with an increase in such things as littering in recent years, the 1530 Project was born from an idea to work together and protect the area, so people volunteer on the 15th and 30th of every month to clean up the town. Since this project will be held 24 times in a year, we began plans to work on keeping things clean 24 hours a day in 2003. It looks like it will get going before things get too tough. This project is a movement to take care of the city throughout the year by doing such things as shoveling snow in the winter, pulling weeds in spring and summer, and gathering leaves in the fall.In Japanese, 1530 can be pronounced “Ichi Gomi Zero,” which brings to mind the other meanings for the words: Ichi (city), Gomi (garbage), Zero.


Wooden barrel brewing was brought back into the new millennium after 50 years, but just that won't continue the cooper's trade, so we thought about what could be done. Then we spoke with brewers all across the country and looked to bring back wood barrel brewing there as well. Over 30 different breweries stepped forward. In 2006, it became an NPO and now seeks as well to pass fermentation culture (sake, miso, soy sauce, pickles, as well as Oke barrels) on to the future.


Obuse mini Marathon Bunji Gallery Company Publications
Oke OK 1530 (Ichi Gomi Zero) About Sarah
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What is Danna Bunka?

Tenmei Gura
  (Restoration plans after the fire)
Relationship between
 Hokusai and Kozan

Intellectual Culture Salon "Hekiiken"
Hekiiken (Artisan's residence)
Kurabu (Club)
Tenant Farms in Go-cho
Women's Suffrage in the Edo Period
Obuse's Festival Floats
Wealthy Merchants and
 the Market Town

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 the Early Meiji

Revitilization of Danna Bunka

Masuichi Kyakuden
 (Guest House)

Obuse mini Marathon
The Club
Nagano Olympic
 Hospitality Program

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 and Hokusai Festival

  (city-garbage-zero Project)

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 Wooden Barrel Brewing and
 Fermentation "OKE OK"

Bunji Gallery
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 Sarah's Tango (words)


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