Celebration! 2022 Hokuryu-cho Respect-for-Senior-Citizens Meeting (Hokuryu-cho Senior Citizens Welfare Center)

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

On Tuesday, September 6, from 10:30 a.m., the 2022 Hokuryu-cho Respect-for-Senior-Citizens Meeting was held for the first time in three years at the Hokuryu-cho Senior Citizens Welfare Center.

2022 Hokuryu-cho Respect-for-Senior-Citizens Meeting (Hokuryu-cho Senior Citizens Welfare Center)

Hokuryu Town Senior Citizen Welfare Center

Presentation of a gift to celebrate American longevity, awards for distinguished permanent residents, etc.

The Respect-for-Senior-Citizens Meeting is a celebration of those 75 years of age or older who reside in the town of Hokuryu.

2022 Hokuryu Town Respect-for-Senior-Citizens Meeting

In Hokuryu Town, 448 people (excluding Eirakuen residents) were considered eligible, 17 of whom reached the age of 88 years old (those born between September 2, 1933 and September 1, 1934).

There are 32 permanent residents (those who are 80 years old or older as of September 1, 2022 and have lived in Hokuryu Town for 60 years or more).

128 people (including 6 U.S. seniors and 15 permanent residents with distinguished service) were present today.

I would like to extend my hearty congratulations to all of you, who are full of vitality and energy.

Ladies and gentlemen


The overall chairperson was Naohiro Hosokawa, Manager of the Hokuryu Resident Division. The awards were chaired by Hajime Namba, Manager, General Affairs Division.

北竜町住民課・細川直洋 課長
Naohiro Hosokawa, Resident Division, Manager
北竜町総務課・南波肇 課長
Hajime Namba, Manager, General Affairs Division

Opening Remarks: Mayor Yutaka Sano of Hokuryu Town

Mayor Yutaka Sano

I would like to congratulate and express my pleasure that so many of you have attended and that this is the first time in three years that the Respect-for-Senior-Citizens Reception will be held in a grand manner.

It is a great pleasure to see everyone's energetic and lively faces.

We are celebrating the 130th anniversary of the pioneering and settlement of Chiba Prefecture by the people of Chiba Prefecture in 1893. We recently held a ceremony to commemorate the occasion on the 3rd.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude and appreciation to all of you for your strong and longstanding efforts.

The population of Hokuryu-cho is now just under 1,700, of which 765 are 65 years old or older, making the aging rate 45.2%. In addition, there are 475 people aged 75 and over (including those residing in Eirakuen), accounting for 28.1% of the total.

The oldest person is Mr. Seiichi Kumeya (107 years old) of the Itaya Neighborhood Association, who still lives at Eirakuen in good health.

Thank you to the 144 people (128 in attendance on the day) who came to today's Respect-for-Senior-Citizens Meeting.

The agriculture of Hokuryu Town, centering on safe and very tasty sunflower rice, has been highly evaluated as the best in Japan. Thanks to your support, we have received a large amount of donations from hometowns, mainly for Sunflower Rice, exceeding 300 million yen for seven consecutive years: 600 million yen in 2020 and 400 million yen last year (2021). The town of Hokuryu, a small town, is receiving high expectations from all over the country.

The 36th Sunflower Festival, which ended recently, was filled with beautiful sunflowers. We were blessed with fine weather during the festival.

The Sunflower Village was very busy with many 280,000 visitors in one month, though this is the third largest ever. This year's number of visits was the third highest in our history, due to the fact that there were almost no sightseeing buses in operation due to Corona-related issues, and also due to the fact that inbound visitors have not returned to Hokkaido.

We have also received a record 3,837,000 yen in donations to help make the sunflowers bloom. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to all the volunteers for their great efforts.

The rice fields are now in full harvest, and this year's rice fields are again looking wonderful. Harvesting of rice also started today, on the 6th, at the glutinous rice complex.

Typhoon No. 11, which we had been worried about, has turned to the left. We are a little relieved, but strong winds are forecast for this evening and tomorrow morning, so we would like to ask you to be very careful.

After the festival, rice harvesting will begin in the town and we will be very busy. I hope we will be able to harvest a lot of delicious rice.

Today is the Respect-for-Senior-Citizens Meeting, but we will not have any food or beverages at the venue. Thank you for your understanding.

Seventeen people celebrated their US-jubilee this year, and for those who have lived in Hokuryu Town for more than 60 years, there are 32 people who have achieved permanent residence. Congratulations to all of them. I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations.

I am late, but I would like to thank the Hokuryu-cho Red Cross Service Volunteers for their help from early in the morning in preparing for the Respect-for-Senior-Citizens Party and other activities.

I would like to extend my best wishes for the health and happiness of all of you at the Respect-for-Senior-Citizens Meeting. I wish you all a very happy and healthy life.

To all of the participants in good health

Congratulatory speech: Yasuhiro Sasaki, Chairman, Hokuryu Town Council

Yasuhiro Sasaki, Chairman

I would like to thank you all for meeting with us today amidst the circumstances of the Corona disaster.

The best sunflower village in Japan and the best sunflower rice in Japan are unquestionably the result of your efforts. We would like to thank you again.

This morning on TV, there was a news report on the fourth anniversary of the earthquake in the eastern part of Japan. One of the townspeople in Atsuma said, "We have lost our community. We are troubled because we can no longer hold the most important gatherings (such as the Respect-for-Senior-Citizens Meeting). Although more than 90% of the hard restoration work, such as building construction, has been completed, the emotional restoration has not yet been completed.

Today, lunch and other items will be in the form of take-out, but we are grateful to be able to meet and talk with you in this way, even if it is just to take home.

We are now in a very difficult situation with high prices and construction materials. First of all, 10,000 yen regional promotion coupons were distributed to all residents to encourage them to shop within the town. The mayor is thinking carefully about the possibility of implementing this program in the future. For example, we hope to create a "round-up ticket" to be used at the time of rounding up after the rice harvest to promote the warmth of the community.

Congratulations to the 144 people in attendance today (128 in attendance on the day of the meeting), the 17 USJ celebrants, and the 32 Permanent Residents of Merit.

Not only today, but every day I hope to return to an environment where I can talk with you all in various places as I walk around town. I really want to congratulate you all today.

In a peaceful atmosphere.

Introduction of Guests of Honor

Mr. Yasuhiro Sasaki (Chairman of the Hokuryu Town Assembly), Mr. Takeshi Yamamoto (Chairman of the Hokuryu Town Social Welfare Council), Mr. Hirokuni Kitakiyo (Representative Director of JA Kitasorachi Hokuryu District), Mr. Junichi Fukase (Chairman of the Hokuryu Town Land Improvement District), Mr. Kenji Sasaki (Vice Chairman of the Hokuryu Town Commerce and Industry Association), Mr. Koji Kawada (Chairman of the Hokuryu Town Sunflower Longevity Association), Mr. Yoshiharu Yamashita (Vice Chairman of the Hokuryu Town Himawari Vice President of the Hokuryu-cho Sunflower Longevity Federation), Mr. Katsuhiro Nagai (Vice President of the Hokuryu-cho Sunflower Longevity Federation), Ms. Etsuko Aoki (Vice President of the Hokuryu-cho Sunflower Longevity Federation)

Guests of Honor

Presentation of U.S. Longevity Celebration Money

Yonenju: Those born between September 2, 1933 and September 1, 1934 (list adjusted as of September 1, 2022)

Presentation of U.S. Longevity Celebration Money

Permanent Resident Merit Award (representative received the award)

Residents who have lived in the area for 60 years or more. 80 years old or older as of September 1, 2022 (Adjusted list as of September 1, 2022)

Permanent Resident Merit Award


Sakurashinryu Ken Shishibu Kai

Aoba Flute: Isao Hiraba

Aoba no Fue": Mr. Isao Haniba
Aoba no Fue": Mr. Isao Haniba

Eyes of the corner of the eye: Kazuko Nishiyama and Hideko Kawada

Kazuko Nishiyama: "The corner of the eye
Kazuko Nishiyama: "The corner of the eye
Eye corner of the eye: Hideko Kawada

dragon boat (long 22-person canoe used for racing)

  • Performer:Yuyo Nakamura, Chihiro Itagaki, Toshiki Okabe
  • Songs performed:Mukoguchi, Fireworks, Yamahiko
Hokuryu drum performance

Hiroyo Nakamura Greetings from the President

Greetings from Yuyo Nakamura

We regret that in these times of celebration we cannot have a dinner, but we will do our best to play the Hokuryu Taiko drum and hope you enjoy it.

The second piece is "Hanabi" (Fireworks). Hokuryu Town has six "tsurigi-oke taiko" drums. We would like everyone to enjoy them.

Some of you may be thinking that you would like to beat the drums. I think it is hard to do in this day and age, but I feel in my heart that the virus is gradually fading away.

If you would like to join us, we would be happy to have you play taiko as a warm-up during your gathering time.

If they hit people, people complain, and if they hit things, they break, and they are hard to clean. However, drums will not break no matter how hard you beat them. When you beat a taiko drum, you forget that you are even beating it.

We would be very happy if you could place it near you or by your side. We hope that somewhere in your heart, you will have the desire to try it someday.

The last song "Yamahiko" was composed by our predecessors around 2001-2002, when the Muroran Bridge was built, in order to make it into the Guinness Book of Records under the name "Sen-nin Taiko". It is now performed throughout the country.

In Hokuryu Town, we performed at the Sunflower Village on August 7 and at the recent 130th anniversary celebration of the opening of the town, and we hope to see you at the Cultural Festival in November. Please listen to "Yamahiko" for the last time.

Taiko drum performance with a high and lively heartbeat
Performance by taiko drummers
The shouts are also brave!

Banzai Sansho: Hokuryu-cho Council of Social Welfare, Chairman Takeshi Yamamoto

北竜町社会福祉協議会 山本剛嗣会長
Hokuryu-cho Council of Social Welfare Chairman Takeshi Yamamoto

Congratulations on today's "Beiryu-cho Respect-for-Senior-Citizens Meeting!
This year marks the 130th anniversary of the founding of Hokuryu Town. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to our predecessors for their tireless efforts, sweat equity, and indomitable spirit that have made Hokuryu the town it is today.

I would like to close with a hurray-sansho, wishing all the participants continued good health and happiness, and hope to see you all here again next year in good health, and wishing for the further unlimited development of Hokuryu Town.

Hurrah! Hurrah! Hooray!"

Thank you!!!!" ................

Three Hail Marys!
We congratulate you on your good health and happiness! All hail!


Mayor Yutaka Sano, Vice Mayor Toshimasa Takahashi, and Education Director Kazushi Arima saw everyone off.

Mayor Sano, Vice Mayor Takahashi, and Superintendent of Education Arima see everyone off.

The members of the Hokuryu-cho Red Cross Volunteer Corps, mainly from the town office, volunteered to help with food preparation and other volunteer activities on the day!

Distribute take-home congratulatory gifts

A variety of congratulatory gifts

congratulatory gift

Lunch boxes, red and white buns, beer, tea, souvenirs (towels), and many other festive items.

With thanks for the festive gift!

With boundless love, gratitude, and prayers to all the healthy elderly who have survived the tough times and continue to shine with bright light.

With gratitude for the golden ears of rice.

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