06 Mar 2015

Seya shuraku集落 (Seya settlement) is located in the northern part of Kyoto prefecture, 3 hrs away from kyoto city by bus or train.

off-the-beaten kyoto (1) cultivation of millets and traditional knowledgeVarieties of millet, such as awa 粟 (foxtail millet) and takakibi 高黍(sorghum) are inherited from ancestors of the lands in Seya 世屋. yakihata 焼畑(slush-and-burn farming) was customary conducted for the cultivation of millets. Now, it is banned, and the crops are almost forgotten. Less and less villagers grow millet in Japan.

off-the-beaten kyoto (1) cultivation of millets and traditional knowledge

Granmmas in the village make millet cake by using different varieties of millets, called awa mochi 粟餅 (foxtail millet cake), or kibi mochi 黍餅 (sorghum millet cake).

off-the-beaten kyoto (1) cultivation of millets and traditional knowledge

These are seeds of millets handed down from generations to generations in seya shuraku. Mothers gifted seeds to their daughters when they got married, so that the dauters would not forget the tastes inherited in their home.

off-the-beaten kyoto (1) cultivation of millets and traditional knowledge

In the shuraku (settlement), old folk houses thatched by bamboo grass are sparsely located along the hill.
Konnyaku (glutinous food made from devils tongue), Adzuki beans, soba (buckweat) , tororo aoi (sunset hibiscus), kouzo (paper mulbery) are cultivated in the backyard farms.

off-the-beaten kyoto (1) cultivation of millets and traditional knowledge

varieties of indigenous crops are only inherited for subsistence throughout a year. Fiber crops and grains for shinto offering are also among them.
Kumazasa (a kind of bamboo grass) is indispensable for roofing.

off-the-beaten kyoto (1) cultivation of millets and traditional knowledge

Well remained traditional livelihood and knowledge at such level is quite unusual nationwide in Japan and very unique to Seya shuraku.

 

access: 2 hrs from kyoto station to Miyazu station or Amanohashidate station. take tankai bus from the station to Kamiseya.

 

map:  

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