The garden plant industry in Angyo has a 380-year history of continuous development as a local industry in Kawaguchi city. While urbanization has spread throughout the country, the mystical value of garden plants and flowers has increased in the same way. Angyo has a rich natural environment which is the fundamental reason for promoting conservation into the 21st century and at the same time Angyo is becoming a distribution center for garden plants. Continued development will be necessary in the future.
Geographically speaking, Angyo, being strategically located next to Tokyo, the great consumer city (formerly Edo), was a distribution center for flowers, garden plants, etc. for Toshima, Sugamo, Komagome, Somei of Bunkyou-ku, Tabata of Kita-ku, etc. during the Edo period (1603-1867). Ever since, Angyo has been a thriving source of these plants.
Also, together with a grip on the distribution process, Angyo has also been aggressively participating in garden plant markets in Edo and Tokyo, in nationwide garden plant markets, and on gala days and at festivals, and through all these activities it has cultivated the demand for these products. Since pre-war days (back during the Meiji period (1868-1913), Angyo has promoted catalogue sales, direct mail, and direct sales (cart sales). It has also participated in the Dutch International Flower Festival "Floriad" in 1982 and 1992 as a representative of Japan, winning special attention among international concerns on designs for Japanese gardens.
Angyo's tableland being at the near sea level of 15 to 20m, with numerous alluvial undulations such as tableland, slopes, and marsh land, enables the raising of trees that thrive in sunshine and those that flourish in the shade. There is an excellent flow of underground water and the red soil (Kanto loam layer) has been well-suited for cultivating trees.
Furthermore, Angyo is nearly centrally located on Japan's main island where trees from both the cold and warm regions grow. Depending on the situation, it is possible to plant sub-tropical trees there, and Angyo is well-suited for raising various types of trees and for producing young plants.
The two major industries that have contributed to the prosperity of Kawaguchi City were the casting industry and the garden plant industry. However, because of the increase in land prices together with recent housing development, the number of the workers in the garden plant industry, like in the casting industry, has been declining. Because of the highly developed transportation network, Angyo is the center for information exchange and training and is still significant in terms of turning out garden plants, while its production centers have moved to Ibaraki and Chiba prefectures.
The Angyo garden plant technique nurtured over the centuries is highly regarded and is widely being dispersed as "Garden plants of Angyo"..
The expertise used to sculptured plants in the contemporary "Angyo style," the "fukashi" knack of expediting blossoms, transplanting skills known as "nemawashi (prepare for digging out)" and "nemaki (balled or root wrapping)" and also transportation methods, have been handed down to the rising generations.
(balled or root-wrapping)
|Cut branches of Akayama||Bonsai
"Nemaki" is the technique of wrapping the plant roots with straw and rope so the soil won't be lost during transplanting. Depending on the size of the pots, there are two wrapping styles used, namely "tarumaki (unusual balled)" where the roots are wrapped horizontally, and "mikan-maki (normal balled)" where they are wrapped vertically.
The balled wrapping of the Angyo style is famous for the beauty seen in straw-rope-wrapping, and garden plant specialists take real pride in the finished form.
Branches are pruned prior to blossoming and are chiefly used for "ikebana (flower arrangement)." These include branches from prunus percica(peach), prunus yodoensis(cherry), prunus mune, rhododendoron indica, spiraea thunbergii, and chamaecyparis, etc.
By bundling and bending the branches, their buds are less likely to fall off. These bent branches, after water osmosis, are revived and shipped out just when the buds are ready to bloom.
One of techniques in raising garden trees is "Bonsai" fostered by bending the young tree trunk. In Angyo they are raised from chamaecyparis obtuse nana, pinus thunbergii, taxus cuspida nana, etc. nurturing them over a 30-year period, depending on the tree.
In order to complete the grafting, thining, taking out support , straw wrapping, bending, etc., it is. It's crucial to employ the high quality experience gained over many years.
In the "Gikeiki (a biography)" written at the beginning of the Muromachi period (1336-1573), there were the records of Ko-Kawaguchi, Adachi-gun, and Musashi-no-kuni. During the beginning of the Edo period (1603-1867), the name, Ko-Kawaguchi was changed into Kawaguchi in1622 when Shogun Hidetada Tokugawa paid respect to the Nikko Shrine. Thereafter, it became a place bustling with traffic consisting of people and horses. In 1869 Kawaguchi belonged to Omiya, and subsequently to Urawa Prefecture: In 1872 it was changed into Saitama Prefecture by the Prefecture Reform Law, and finally became Kawaguchi-machi in 1875.
On April 1, 1933, with Kawaguchi-machi at the center, the villages of Yokosone, Minami-Hirayanagi, and Aoki were consolidated, and was designated as Kawaguchi city under the implementation of the Municipal Ordinance. Thereafter, it went through the services of M & A to arrive at the current status after consolidating Mikuni-village into the city in 1972.
Kawaguchi city is located at the southern tip of Saitama Prefecture adjacent to the great metropolis of Tokyo just across the Arakawa River.
With the exception of the city's north-east section, the major portion consists of low-lands. In ancient times, Tokyo Bay used to stretch into this area and the major portion was considered to have been underwater. The Arakawa River, flowing between the city and Tokyo has its source deep in the Chichibu mountain range and flows into Tokyo Bay after cutting through the south-eastern region.
The JR (Japan Railway) Keihin Tohoku Line runs through the city's south-west section in a north-west direction, taking less than 30 minutes from Tokyo Station to Kawaguchi Station. Also, in the north, the JR Musashino Line opened a line in 1973, and housing developments were rapidly implemented in Tozuka and Yanagisaki. On March 28, 2001, the subway Saitama Express Railway Line opened connecting the city's north-east section running towards Akabane, Tokyo. This greatly enhanced the convenience of transportation.
Kawaguchi city has been long known, nationwide, as "a city of casting." The current industrial structure of the city is multi-dimensional, covering from the casting industry to the highly technologically innovative machine industry as well as the traditional technologically driven manufacturing industry for wooden models, fishing poles, textiles, the food industry including beer, plus the chemical and precision machinery industries. All are broad and versatile in the face of modern industry.
In addition to these, in the Angyo and Kamine areas, such special products as garden plants, young plants, bonsai, and flowers are produced and marketed not only nationwide, but also throughout the world.
|Municipality:||April 1, 1933|
|Number of households:||193,237|
|Total square kms:||55.75km2|
|City tree:||Cameria sasanqua|
|City flower:||Lilium longiflorum|