• "TOMO'S  HEART" では、友さんのお人柄を紹介します
  • "EPISODE" では、秩父地方を取材して出会った出来事をお伝えします

In this page titled HEART, we provide a profile of Ms. Tomo Yokota and episodes in Chichibu.

  • Tomo Yokota's character is introduced in "TOMO'S HEART"".
  • Interesting stories from our tour in Chichibu are introduced in "EPISODE".



Farming is my real vocation.

"I have a calling for farming,"
Ms. Tomo Yokota (hereinafter referred to as "Tomo") said with a serene & warm smile just like the ancient smile of Miroku Bosatsu, or Maitreya Bodhisattva. Her genuine joy with life is easy to see on her expressive face. This joy probably comes from her real feeling of being involved with lots of people’s lives while she works in the farm fields every day.

Tomo originally came from Shinjuku, Tokyo, and started farming about a decade ago. Her husband's family was engaged in farming for generations, and she fully expected to take it up some day herself.  "I think it had been decided long before I was born to come to Chichibu and farm. It's my fate,"  said Tomo. Her attitude of calmly accepting all the demanding jobs in everyday life show that she has a wide field of activity.


弥勒菩薩像のアルカイク・スマイルに似た表情でそう語る横田友さん(以下、友さん)。  「生」に対する素朴な喜びを感じさせるこの表情は、毎日のお百姓仕事を通して、 多くのいのちとのかかわりを実感されているからではないだろうか。

友さんは、東京都新宿区のご出身で農業に従事されたのはこの10年ほど。 ご主人のご実家が農業をしていらしたので、ご結婚された当初から、将来はここで農業をすることを考えていらした。  「秩父に来て農業をするのは生まれる前から決まっていた宿命のようなものですね」 と、身の回りのことを引き受けられる姿勢は、友さんの活動範囲の広さを表している。


The sun and earth

Tomo has a widespread involvement besides farm work:
- Member of Chichibu Agricultural Committee,
- Nogyo Keiei Kaizen Keikaku Ninteisha (Farm Improvement Planning Qualified Farmer),
- Chichibu-shi Kokyo Jigyo Hyoka Member (Chichibu Public Works Projects Assessment Committee Member),

She says the source of her vitality is  "sunshine and soil fungi"  - i.e. the sun and earth.


秩父市農業委員、農業経営改善計画認定者、秩父市公共事業評価委員、秩父市農協共同組合東支店運営委員、 さいたま農村女性アドバイザー(響き)、秩父アグリ女性埼玉連絡協議会役員、彩の会農村アドバイザーと多くの役目を 農作業と同様にこなしている友さん。バイタリティの源は「太陽の光と土に生きる土壌菌」だそうだ。


For the promotion of agriculture

"The sun shines equally on everyone, every creature. Absorb the sun and natural soil fungi. It is great to work in the sunshine."

Tomo raises black rice, sticky rice (mochi-gome) and Japanese-style rice (uruchi-mai) in almost a dozen rice fields. It is a continuous process of trial and error because cultivation methods depend on the type of rice. She puts a special emphasis on black rice to use it for the promotion of agriculture in Chichibu. Besides rice farming, she is engaged in the manufacture, processing, delivery and direct sales of vegetables from nearby fields and mushrooms from the mountains. Thus she devotes herself to promoting featured products from Chichibu, as well as playing important roles in various committees and associations.



友さんは現在、十数枚の田んぼで黒米、うるち米、もち米を育てている。  米の種類によって育て方も違い、毎日が試行錯誤の連続。  特に黒米に力を注いでおり、これからの地域の農業振興の役に立たせたいと考えている。  そして、米作り以外にも、地域の畑で採れる野菜と山で採れるキノコ類を素材にした加工食品の生産から収穫、 加工、配送、直売までの全てを手掛け、市農業委員などの役割と併せて、 生産、加工、普及において地域の特色づくりに余念が無い。


For the development of Chichibu

Chichibu is famous for shrine festivals, temple visiting, etc. to pray for bumper crops. The idea of nature worship being derived from agricultural lifestyles has taken root on the soils of Chichibu. In the region where Tomo lives, the shrine that protects the guardian god of the area, Yasaka Shrine, holds a festival every summer. It is one of the major events representing the traditional culture of the area.

"What is important is to protect the rice fields which our ancestors have passed down to us with a great deal of effort and to cherish connections with people in the local community."

The number of people who engage in agriculture is declining due to aging and lack of successors. There are quite a lot of fields currently not in use, or are no longer rice farming. It is necessary to pass local connections developed around the rice fields into the future by supporting the natural environment.

Tomo, with people in the community, continues to be committed to the creation of sustainable agriculture that embraces a rich biodiversity.


秩父地方は五穀豊穣を祈願したお祭りや札所(お寺)巡りなど、農を中心としたくらしの中から自然を崇める気持ちが地域に根付いている。 友さんが住む地域でも、氏神様の八坂神社のお祭が毎年夏に催され、地域の伝統文化を代表する行事である。


高齢化や跡継ぎ不足などで就農する人が減り、休んでいる田んぼや米の栽培を止めた田んぼも散見する。  自然環境とうまくつきあって、田んぼを中心に育まれてきた地域のつながりも未来に受け継ぐ大切なめぐみ。



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Annual festival at Tochiya Yasaka Shrine

Annual festival at Tochiya Yasaka Shrine held on the last Sunday in July. This year (2008), it was held on 27th July featuring the spectacular parade of three big floats (Kasaboko) from three blocks in the community, Kamigumi, Nakagumi and Motogumi, which got together for the first time in six years. Everyone gathered round to pass down traditional culture of their local community, making the festival dynamic and powerful with their full energy of life. Everyone plays a starring role at the summer festival, and it's their smile which becomes heritage of the community.

Scenes from the Yasaka Shrine festival in Chichibu are posted on "PHOTO REPORT" page.


毎年7月の最終日曜日に開催される栃谷八坂神社例大祭。 今年(2008年)は、7月27日に行われた。 6年ぶりで上・中・本組三台の笠鉾が勢ぞろい。 地域の伝統文化の継承に皆々が一つに結束した力強い生命力のある祭は、 皆が主役の夏祭り。

「PHOTO REPORT」にお祭の模様を掲載しました

  栃谷笠鉾三基有形民族文化財指定書 子どもたちの笑顔が地域の財産 有形民族文化財栃谷笠鉾三基  

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