|1916- "WARERAGA-MURA" Our Village|
|Employees and villagers work free from worry or anxiety in the village
full of lush greenery. In the garden, green vegetables grow big
under the sun. Villagers breathe in clean air in the countryside and enjoy
abundant gifts from nature.
|The Village is in Kamata, surburb of Tokyo. Villagers enjoy the labor and life
living not too far from modern civilization. The Village's ｌocation
is such that it benefits both from coutryside and modern city life.
Building a realistic utopia is our mission.
(Teijiro Kurosaka, Message given at the occassion of the first publication of the periodical "WARERAGA-MURA : Our Village")
|Kurosawa-san gave us a tour of the Kurosawa Factory. Employees were all
working very hard. The Factory was clean and tidy. It was well-lighted
and spacious, with good safety measures in place. There was absolutely
no bone to be picked. Even the mess hall was built on a solid foundation
using steel frames, so that in case of emergency, it could be turned into
The remarkable thing is that these 150 workers and their families numbering half a thousand persons,
live on the factory premises in ideal
houses erected by Mr.Kurosawa for them.
(The Japan Times)
||When the construction of the Ginza Kurosawa Building was completed in 1912, Teijiro started to search for a site for a new factory to manufacture office machine and purchased properties in Kamata-mura and Yaguchi-mura, Tokyo. Kamata-mura was selected because the Tokaido Railway Line made a stop at the Kamata station.||6|
|１９１５||Teijiro moved his home from Akashi-cho, Tsukiji to Misono, Kamata.||7|
|１９１７||Teijiro acquired more than 700,000 square meters of property in Kamata-mura and Yaguchi-mura. In
February of 1917, he embarked on building the factory and employee housing.
| As I entered the front entrance, I found a large farmland on the right, lush with onions and spinaches.
On the left, there was a factory. Trees lined the periphery of the property. I found cherry trees planted here
and there in the property,
and imagined how beautiful they would be when in full bloom. The entire campus looked more like a park than a
|You find many trees here. You might think that trees have been planted with money I made. Actually, many of the trees have been grown from the seeds. It was the nature and good care that helped trees to grow so big.||11|
|At the Kamata Factory, I provided housing to employees, provided them with farmland and built schools for their children.
I have done this because I wanted to realize my long-held dreams.
(Teijiro KUROSAWA SPEECH)
| some years ago he opened his lot to his employees to be used by them
to cultivate vegetables. The workmen have each been allotted a certain space
of land, and each employee today has a garden of his own of which he is
justly proud. The vegetables that are grown by the men are taken home with
them eachevening and eaten at dinner time.
(The Japan Times)
|About twenty years ago, the rent was still very high. I thought that it would help my employees if housing was provided. I started to build one employee residenceafter another, and it has grown to what you see now. (Teijiro KUROSAWA SPEECH)||16|
|1918||The Factory was completed and operation was started.||17|
(Factory befor The Earthquake)
People all worked hard and the construction of the Factory was completed ahead of the schedule.
Every day, carts brought in machine, tools and other supplies from Tokyo to Kamata.
Shipment and installation of all the machine and tools were completed at the end of September, 1919.
The pace of construction was such that each day one new employee house was built. Employees and their families started to move in to the employee housing area. The infrastructure and facilities were put into place through hard work of all employees.
(periodical "WARERAGA-MURA :Our Village" by TT)
|1920||Started The Kurosawa Kindergarten||20|
|The second commencement ceremony for the kindergarten started at 10:00AM on March 26th. The owner gave a speech as summarized below during the ceremony. "Even on windy or rainy days, you attended school. You played with your friends and learned a lot. I am happy that we are celebrating this commencement ceremony today. Do your best in play and study. Put all your strength in whatever you do. Be good and serve your community. Please come and visit the kindergarten from time to time. Please remember what you have learned here and all the love you received from your teachers. (By KH, Commencement Ceremony for the Kurosaka Kindergarten, "WARERAGA-MURA :Our Village")||23|
|Teijiro spearheaded the construction of the water supply system||24|
|The Kurosawa Village was constructed in Yaguchi.
The biggest issue was the poor quality of water pumped from the nearby well. Water was not suited for drinking.
Teijiro started to search for a source of good water near the Tama River and spearheaded the construction of the water supply system.
|It was not easy to get good drinking water. There were two wells in the property:
one near the Factory and the other near the housing area. We had to filter the water pumped from the wells to
get drinking water.
Later on, near the well by the Factory we built a big tank to provide water to the kitchen in the mess hall and
the bath house. We had to pump water to the tank by pushing the pump from morning to night. Sometimes in the
winter time, we had to run out of the bath house all naked to pump the water to the tank.
All this while, our village mayor took samples of water from the water source to get them tested and test-drilled wells. The search for good water continued and Teijiro practically had no time to rest. ("WARERAGA-MURA :Our Village" by TT)
|1922||Teijiro at long last found a good water vein, and in December, clean and clear water flowed through the pipe from the well to the water tank in the village||27|
| Our village mayor was obsessed about finding a good source of water. He searched for good water
veins traveling to Ikegami,
Furuichiba and to Maruko. He did research on the water veins day and night.
He once told me he had a dream of finding good water while he slept.
I never forget the day when Teijiro came back soaking wet, covered with mud but with a big smile on his face. While wiping his face with a towel, he said, “I did it. I finally found a good source of water. Just be patient awhile longer and we will all have very good water.” He looked all very excited and happy. The water source was found close to the Yaguchi power plant near the bank of Tamagawa River. The water is supplied from this well even today.
("WARERAGA-MURA :Our Village" by TT)
(Teijiro working with employees)
(completed water tank)
After very careful preparation, drilling started on October 12. The work continued day and night.
We lost several days because we were hampered by mud slides caused by heavy rains but after hard and difficult
work, the well was completed around November 5, 1922.
The work on the water reservoir had been halted 4 years earlier, but the work resumed. At the same time, the work started to build a big water tank next to the reservoir.("WARERAGA-MURA :Our Village" by TT)
From the water source, steel ducts were installed underground to the reservoir. The motor was installed to pump water.
On December 24, the water flowed into the temporary reservoir for the first time. The work on the reservoir and the tank continued.
The water tank was raised and the water was supplied to each household from the tank raised 15 meters above the ground.
To keep the water reservoir clean, trees were planted nearby and the reservoir was surrounded by lush lawn.
All the work on the water reservoir was completed on May 2, 1923.
The only drawback about Kamata was that the water quality was poor and water was not suited for drinking. The Factory owner was obsessed about finding good water source for the villagers. He buried himself in study of water veins. He searched for the water source in the scorching heat in the summer and getting soaked in muddy water in the bitter cold of winter. After long and arduous search, he finally struck a water vein which would supply crystal clear water near the Tamagawa River. All the villagers were delighted. It was like finding an oasis in the middle of the desert. ("WARERAGA-MURA :Our Village" by villager Y)
|1923||The water tank and water pipes to supply water to households were completed on May 2.||32|
Years ago when the Tokyo City Water Works was not yet supplying water to residents in Kamata. Mr. Kurosawa
spent 10,000 yen to have an infiltration well constructed at Tamagawa,
some miles away and to lay a water main to his factory.
(The Japan Times)
(The water tank)
|There are many things that I would like to talk about with regard to this water supply work.
Our Village Mayor was really concerned about supplying quality water to all the people of Kurosawa Village.
The work took a long time and required much patience,
which was quite different from our Village Mayor’s regular style of finishing work quickly.
Back in the summer of 1919, our Village Mayor started to work on a big water reservoir. When it was halfway completed, he halted the work and let it pass for 3 years. In January of 1921, he issued an order to build a big water tank. However, he let it pass for months without actually launching the work. It was only in the spring of 1922, the work started seriously on the water tank. When the foundation was completed and pillars were installed for the first layer, he again halted the work for 6 months. It was very strange, and I could not fathom what our Village Mayor was thinking.
All this while, when it started to rain, without saying a word, our Village Mayor went out and came back drenched with rain. He would repeatedly tell us, “We will soon have good water. We just need a little more patience.” I found out later that he was trying to study how the water swelled in the Tamagawa-river and how water flowed during the rain to study the terrain
Since September of last year, the work started at a gallop speed. The work schedule for the next 3 days was given out every three days. The tank was raised higher and higher each day. The well was drilled at the water source. The underground steel ducts were installed along the village road. The pump room was built. The Village Mayor bicycled from one site to another checking the progress and giving instructions. After whirlwind construction work, the water system was finally completed. All this while, our Village Mayor probably had hardly any time to rest or sleep, negotiating with landowners to purchase the land, studying the terrain and water volume, designing pumps and water supply system and supervising the work.
For some time, he worked on some facility here and stopped halfway, started another project there and stopped halfway. This was quite different from how he normally worked, and it puzzled me. I now believe that he had acted in this way because he could not restrain his impatience. The water supply was completed because of very hard work, dedication and commitment of our Village Mayor. Let’s not waste even a drop of valuable water. If there is any excess, let’s share it with our friends outside of the Kurosawa Village, who also suffer from the poor water quality.
(“Do not waste water”by a member of the construction work, "WARERAGA-MURA :Our Village")
(The bath house)
|1923||The Great Kanto Earthquake struck in September of 1923. Because of the liquefaction of ground, buildings at the Kamata Factory collapsed.||38|
|When the Great Kanto Earthquake hit, our people got together immediately since they all lived nearby in one place.
We decided to rebuild the factory ourselves.
The buildings you see now are the result of the strong determination of all the employees.
(Teijiro KUROSAWA SPEECH)
|(Dining hall building in construction)||40|
|1928||All the employees worked on the restoration of the Factory.||41|
|The buildings may look amateurish in some places. We procured the materials and supplies ourselves. We built the pillars and put the roof over. We did all the work ourselves. (Teijiro KUROSAWA SPEECH)||43|
|I put as much money as possible on the foundation but I used light materials for the roof, just enough to withsand storms. Because of the solid foundation, we do not feel small earthquakes. In case of a mid-scale earthquake, the building will shake just a little. It will not collapse even with a big earthquake. He quoted from the bible saying, " the house is built on the rock and will not collapse even with the wind and rain." ("Tour of the Kurosaw Factory, by Y. Mikimoto )||44|
|There is no executive room. There is only a desk for Kurosawa-san at the corner of the factory. Behind the desk, photos of factory workers who died in the war are hung. Old photos showing the history of "Kurosawa"are also displayed on the wall. Inside the factory, things are all clean and tidy. There is no dust, and machine is all polished and shiny. All workers are working intently and they do not take any noice even when the owner walks over. People do not look very busy but it is very clear that they are working professionally. No smoking is permitted in the facotry. Wire fences are placed around the machine to prevent injury. (Tour of the Kurosawa Factory)||45|
|According to Kurosawa-san, his hobby is to work with machine. He does not buy any machine if it is not
needed but if I he thinks it is needed, he will buy the
very best in the world. Each machine is labelled with a top manufacturer's mark.
All the people here are working very hard regardless of their job titles. It does not matter if they are managers
(Tour of the Kurosawa Factory)
New Dining hall
|Employees live close to the Facotry and they can go home to have meals with their families. However, I thought that it would be good for the employees to have small meals with their coworkers, and I built a dining hall at the Factory. Over meals, employees can reminisce about old days, talk how far we have come, and get to know one another better. I am sure this helps teamwork and communications among employees. (Teijiro KUROSAWA SPEECH)||48|
|Whenever there is a class reunion, we talk about curry rice and other dishes prepared by Cook Koide of the Kurosawa Factory.
It was so delicious! We all agree that even curry rice served by the best restuarant in town would not match Cook Koide's curry rice.
We all miss Koide-san's curry rice. We could buy a bowl of curry for 20 sens from Koide-san.
We would bring a pan from home to the dining hall. Koide-san would scoop curry with a big ladle from a big heavy pan into the small pan we brought from home. Whenever we had curry for dinner at home, I would ask for seconds many times and my mom would say, "You are eating too much! You will get sick!"
Fathers who worked at the Kurosawa Factory would bring home curry, cutlets and other delicious dishes from the dining hall to share with their families. We all looked forward to it. Those were good old days.
(by Sachiko Mito " periodical "Hiroba : Forum")
|All the clocks in the factory are set 5 minutes late. When the Great Earthquake of Kanto struck, the factory workers were saved since they were still washing hands and not in the mess hall. The clocks are set 5 minutes late to commemorate this and to remind workers that they should not rush. "I value machine used to make products, but I value more the people who operate the machine." (Tour of the Kurosawa Factory)||51|
|1929||Kurosawa Primary school was completed.||52|
|I had to work and was not able to finish primary school. I do not want my employees' children to suffer like I did. I needed to make sure that they would go to school, and that is why I built this school. (Teijiro KUROSAWA SPEECH)||54|
・・・, he has had a modern school constructed with money from his own pocket. This institution will become a kindergarten and a primary school.It is a school for the children of employees, but it is one to which members of the best families in Tokyo can proudly send their children. The building is one of the most up-to- date structures in Japan. Its teachers are experienced and specially selected instructors. Its playground is spacious. (The Japan Times)
| In a classroom which smelled of fresh wood and paint, lessons started. Initially there were only
first-year,second-year and third-year students. There were huge blackboards, new desks and chairs in the classroom.
Everything was new and fresh.
We were all so excited and happy to come to school to study.
In the auditorium and halls, there were displays of specimens of different trees. Frames of picture cards, each featuring a Japanese character in the Japanese character set and short poems or words to live by which started with that featured character hung in the hall. Each picture card had English translation below. Often Mr. Kurosawa would show his American guests around the school. He would stop at each picture card and explain moral lessons given in the card to his guests in English.
I also remember seeing a framed post card addressed to Mr. Kurosawa from the greatest inventor of the world, Mr. Edison. It was hung in the classroom for the 5th year student. I was so impressed and awe struck how great Mr. Kurosawa was to receive a post card from Mr. Edison. (by Sachiko Mito " periodical "Hiroba : Forum")
|A hallway is a whole differnt world for small children. Small tables placed in the hallway serve as work benches for children.
Small tools, samples of wooden and metal materials and other vocational training materials are placed on the tables.
The hallway itself looks like a vocational training school for children. In the auditorium,
framed large picture cards each featuring a letter in the Japanese character set were hung.
Written on each card is a short proverb which starts with the featured character on the card.
"Picture cards are very good. Proverbs written on picture cards are packed with wisdom of our forefathers. We can learn lessons from them. We do not have to turn outside of the country to learn lessons. If you study the picture cards well, and live by the proverbs, you learn a lot and you can be a great man," says Kurosawa-san in front of the picture cards. Some sample proverbs are "Idleness is the devil's workshop", "There is no leisure for the poor", " A penny saved is a penny gained", etc. (Rotary Wheel)
|I do not have a grand plan or a big fund. It is a surprise for me that I have come so far and I am very thankful. It is as if a seed has landed on good soil, sprouted out with blessings of time and nature, grown to be a seedling and became a big tree with spreading branches with hard work and dedication of all employees. (Teijiro KUROSAWA SPEECH)||59|