Former Hata Town Office

2021-05-07

This wooden building is in Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture.
About 10km west of Matsumoto Station  along National Route 158 heading to Kamikochi, the building is located in the back of the parking lot on the site.

This is the former Hata Town Office Building.
Here is currently Matsumoto City, but until 2010 it was Hata Town, Higashi-chikuma District.

By the way, this is the current Matsumoto City Office Hata Branch.
It was completed as Hata Town Office in November 1991, and was merged into Matsumoto City in 2010 to become Hata Branch of City Office.

The following photo is of the old town office building taken from the pedestrian bridge on the national route.

There is a front door at the corner of the building, and it has a gable. The building has a tower on the roof and a balcony at the entrance. The balcony is parallel to the wall of the building, not the entrance.

After the new town office building was built, the old building was used as a public hall, but in 2017 the public hall was relocated and the old building is almost closed.

Taken at different angle. When it was used as a public hall, it seems that the doorway in the center of this photo was used instead of the front door. The nameplate is still hung.

Around 2016, there was a local move to utilize the building, but it could not be realized due to problems with earthquake resistance and management.
Even so, there are still voices requesting utilization, and a lecture was held on December 6th, sponsored by the Hata Town Development Council, hoping to raise the interest of the citizens.
I am interested too in this building, and participated.

Mr. Masami Yoshizawa, the chairman of the NPO Shinshu Traditional Building Preservation Technology Study Group, spoke in a lecture entitled “Knowing the Historical Value of the Former Hata Town Office Building".
In the first half, examples of prewar architecture in Nagano Prefecture were given, and then the story of the former Hata Town Office.

The former Hata Town Office was built in 1925. When it was built, the name was “Hata Village Office". According to “Hata Town History", a framework completion ceremony was held on July 1st, and many villagers gathered. It is said that 145 bales of rice cakes were served, and sumo wrestling and fireworks were held.
The construction cost was 19,015.92 yen.

In 1956, when the business of Hata Village Agricultural Cooperative was expanded, the town office office building was relocated and the land was rented to the Agricultural Cooperative. The town office building was relocated by pulling, and at that time the first floor was expanded, and the gable and balcony at the top of the entrance were removed.

In 1973 the village became Hata Town, and the name of the building became Hata Town Office.

The construction of the new town office building began in 1990, and the old building was relocated to the east side again. And it was restored to its original appearance based on old photographs.
However, when I look at the old black-and-white photographs, the color of the wall looks quite dark, so it seems that the color was different from the current one.

I made a map of the relocation with reference to past aerial photographs.

There was a question and answer session after the lecture, but it seems that the locals are worried about how to utilize it.

After the lecture, I asked to show me the second floor.

Go up the stairs. The walls and ceiling are new, but the windows and stairs seem to remain old.
By the way, the interior of the room used for the lecture on the first floor was completely new. I heard that the pillars were replaced with thicker ones during the relocation.

Taken from the second floor. I like stairs.

I think the second floor was the town(village) council chambers. But after the second relocation, it became a room to display the materials of Hata Town as a “folk museum". It seems that elementary school students visited for a social tour for a while, but it is not used now.

Only the photo of the entrance be posted.

Looking toward the stairs from the corridor on the second floor.

lastly taken from the outside. The dark part is the shadow of the current office building.

It’s a building that has been relocated and preserved twice, so I hope this building will be put to good use.

[Reference]
Lecture “Knowing the historical value of the former Hata Town Office Building" (sponsored by Hata Town Development Council and co-sponsored by Hata Public Hall) Lecturer: Masami Yoshizawa
“Hata Town History, Contemporary History Edition" (Hata Town Magazine Compilation Committee Edition, 1987, published by Hata Town Board of Education)

(Translated : 2021.04.21)