The Somokuto Association was set up in 2010 with the objective of maintaining and preserving throughout the generations the Somokuto stone monuments, which are found predominately in the Okitama Region and were erected during the Edo period. These monuments are a very unusual example of a stone stele dedicated to herbal vegetation. The association’s office is in the Tazawa Community Center since many of the monuments can be found in the Tazawa area of Yonezawa, situated in the Okitama region.
Activities are held by the Somokuto Association for the children of the Tazawa area to instruct and show how to clean and protect the monuments from snow and cold in order to maintain and preserve the stones. The Oitama Somokuto Association also holds a forum every year called, “Somokuto no Katarai – Talking about the Somokuto monuments”. This events helps to inform both locals and visitors about the appeal of the Somokuto. In Tazawa, there are 11 such monuments and the association independently makes efforts to hand down this cultural legacy to the local children by visiting the local Misawa West Elementary School and teaching the history of the Somokuto and the thoughts of the ancestors as a comprehensive learning class.
Oitama is also referred to as Okitama, the southern region of Yamagata.
|Production||Yamagata Prefecture Lifelong Learning Culture Foundation|