History of Kito
Kito boasts the second highest mountain in western Japan, Mt. Tsurugi, which is listed in the top 100 famous mountains of Japan. This area is surrounded by many mountains exceeding 1,000 m in altitude and is also home to the Naka River. The people of the Kito village have relied on forestry industries for many years. Due to the Naka river and the abundance of timber, the village flourished. Currently the only area in japan making textiles with “Tafu-ori” is Kito. This is made by weaving mulberry bark with threads to make ancient-style fabric mentioned in Japan’s oldest anthological poems. Historically, it’s the oldest fabric on record in Japan until the Edo period when cotton became the staple material. Volunteers in Kito gather and learn this tradition. We work on traditional culture with nature, to develop Kito’s unique culture.
Origins of Kito
Surrounded with the abundance of nature, Kito is a village developed downstream of the Naga River.since long ago, the high-quality timber has been used for building palaces and castles. Since then the meaning of Kito has the meaning of “King of Trees”. This superb forestry industry supported the local people’s lives.
The River of Kito
The source of the Naka River is Mt. Jirogyu. From there, it flows through the Takanose Gorge into the Pacific Ocean. This river flows for 125 km along the mountainside. It is the longest river in Tokushima prefecture. Deep forests protect the rich Naka River known as “The blue clear stream”. This is also a mountain stream fishing spot, during open season, lots of fishing fans visit to catch sweetish and trout. The clear stream of the Naka River is considered a resource for life. The people live in harmony with nature.
Mountains of Kito
Kito is known as “The Tibet of Shikoku”. To the north of Kito is the Tsurugi Mountains, to the south is the Kaifu Mountains, and around 20 other mountains over 1000m in altitude surround the village.In autumn beautiful autumn leaves can be seen everywhere. Kito’s “Takanose Gorge” has been selected as one of the best “viewing places” for the “100 best autumn leaf viewing spots”. The autumn season has tourists flooding in to climb the mountains.
The people of Kito
Kito is a mountainous area which is why we develop it in harmony with nature. We band together and help each other so we can communicate with kindness. In our local dialect we often call each other “brother” or “sister”. We consider everyone as family. According to our archives, the ancestors said, “We want to pass on the village to our descendants”, “We want the children’s hearts to have the love of a nice hometown”, we strive to provide that as a village.
Kito’s temperature is polarized and we have a lot of rain so the climate is perfect for the agricultural industry, because of that we started cultivating the yuzu citrus fruit in 1967. The Kito Yuzu Research Association collaborated with the farmers to make this wonderful fruit.Then in 1978 we were awarded the “Asahi agricultural award”. We were acknowledgedfor our agricultural developments and local revitalization. Because of this award. Kito Yuzu became famous all over japan. In 2017 we were registered with the geographical indication protection system by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.