KANAGAWA, Apr. 2 – A someiyoshino cherry blossom tree in full bloom stands right next to “Kuji Ento Bunsui” in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture as if it’s looking into the water. The tree of approximately 90 years old has long been a witness to the cylindrical water diversion which used to support local rice farmers. This year, the blossoms started to bloom on March 15, 10 days earlier than usual.
The water diversion is a facility to divide water for agricultural use into multiple directions. The cylindrical water divider in Kuji was built in 1941. The water drawn from the “Nikaryo Yosui” made in the Edo era used to overflow from the center of the Kuji Cylindrical Water Diversion and be distributed to four agricultural waterways. The facility played an important role in solving the disputes among local farmers over agricultural water. It’s said that the cherry tree was planted by locals after the diversion was completed.
Its role as an agricultural facility has ended, but currently, it’s one of the designated tangible cultural properties of Japan. Today, a group of residents named “Kuji Ento Bunsui Support Club” voluntarily cleans up the area to preserve the facility. “I hope many will be interested in the history of agriculture in this region as well,” Takeichiro Yoshida, a 78-year-old leader of the group, said.