okikamuro island fan club, 沖家室島ファンクラブ|Kamuro party かむろ会

Yoshihiro Fujiwara

Yoshihiro Fujiwara

Pre.President of Towa-cho party


My Attachment to The Mandarin Orange

Yoshihiro Fujiwara                               recieved March 23, 2020


 My favorite supermarket displayed a lot of mandarin oranges produced in my hometown. I was willing to buy it. In fact, many mandarin oranges as the return present of the Furusato-nozei which is a special case of the tax system to contribute to one’s hometown with a part of the inhabitants’ tax, were still left in my home a lot. However, I put it in the shopping basket thinking as a phrase of TV commercial that “There is no reason why I do not buy”.

 My parents’ home had an ancestral mandarin orange field 0.5 acre and a rice field 0.4 acre. As my father ran a small construction contractor’s office, my mother had kept the fields for herself unavoidably. The management of the fields was work of my mother exclusively. It was small scale farm compare to full-time farmer’s but was severe hard labor for her.

 My mother had begun to count on me as a precious assistant since my lower grade of the elementary school. She left a brief memo for me. When I returned home from school, it says “I prepared some steamed sweet potatoes in the cupboard for you, eat them and come to the mandarin orange field”. I carried garbage of my house which turned into fertilizer, on my back and went out there.

 I had plentifully work from the cultivation to the harvest. Of course, there were not only the tasks about the mandarin orange but also the care of rice, barley and wheat in the rice field. It was quite usual that a child helped with the household matters at that time, I did it hard even if it was not powerful enough. The recognition as the boy in my mind pushed it from behind.

 I went to Tokyo for going to the university, and after that I could not help those household matters against my wish. When I went home once, a lot of dump trucks came and drove around all over the island, and every rice field was filled up by soil. A mandarin orange boom came, and every farmers were going to convert the rice farming to the growing of the mandarin orange.

 However, the boom was unexpectedly short. The high economic growth let the aspect change completely. Because of the free trade, the kind and quantity of the fruits displayed on the shop front had drastically increased and the price had greatly fallen. On the other hand, the mandarin orange fields had been abandoned one after another on account of the population outflow. The abandoned fields had changed themselves as a bamboo bush before passing through several years.

 The kind of the mandarin orange seemed to be only one, but in late years diversified drastically. The consumers have gotten wide choices and farmer‘s job have increased.

 In late years, the mandarin orange farmer seems to be in dire distress by the triple punches which are the reduction of the mandarin orange market, the decrease in farmer population and the harmful animal damage including the wild boar. I heard that my hometown devised mikan-nabe, which is a dish served in the pot with some roasted mandarin oranges in and is going to bring it up to a special meal.

 I have distantly left my hometown and feel useless absolutely for about that but I wish at least the mandarin orange to trace the way of the revival as the special product at any cost.

 (Yoshihiro Fujiwara Feb. 19, 2020)

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