Koshoku City established


On February 23rd, a tour of the old Koshoku City Office was held.
This building was completed in 1966 as Koshoku City Office, and after Koshoku City, Kamiyamada Town, and Togura Town merged to form Chikuma City in 2003, it was used as “Chikuma City  Koshoku Office".

This building is now vacant because a new building was constructed in 2019 and the city office was relocated.
Chikuma City is planning to demolish the old building, and the cost of demolition is included in the 2023 budget.
Under these circumstances, the local architects’ association surveyed the building and held a tour and lecture meeting. I read an article in the newspaper that the tour of the building was open to the public without application, so I hurried to visit the building.

Koshoku City was established in 1959 through the merger of Yashiro Town, Haniu Town, Inariyama Town, and Yawata Village.
Since the new city office had not yet been constructed when the city was inaugurated, it was initially decided that the old Inariyama Town Office would be used as the city hall.

However, on the day of the opening (June 1, 1959), a commotion broke out when opponents of the city government in Inariyama Town gathered and blocked the entrance of the new (provisional) mayor. They had no choice but to hold the opening ceremony at a different location and use the former Yashiro Town Office as the city office. It was not until November 1960 that the city office was moved to the former Inariyama Town Office as originally planned.

Since I didn’t know why there was such a commotion, I researched the birth of Koshoku City first before writing about the building.

I would like to start the talk from 1953, when the government promulgated the “Law for Promotion of Municipal Merger" in order to optimize the size of municipalities and streamline their operations after the World War II.

The municipalities at that time were as shown in the diagram.
The Chikuma-gawa River flowed through the center of the map, and the western side of the river was Sarashina County, and the eastern side was Hanishina County, which were separate counties.

In Hanishina County, the topic of merger had been raised since the Taisho era, but there was no consensus on which towns and villages should be merged.

After the war, the momentum for the merger was once again strong, but a conclusion could not be reached as of 1953 because there were some who wanted Yashiro, Haniu, and Kuiseke to merge, others who thought that Amenomiyagata, Mori, and Kurashina should be added to them, and still others who wanted Goka Village to join the merger.

Haniu Town and Kuiseke Village were merged in 1954, and part of Goka Village was incorporated into Haniu Town the following year.

Yashiro Town, on the other hand, proceeded to merge with three villages to the east, but Kurashina Village decided not to join the merger, and in March 1950, Yashiro Town merged with Amenomiyagata Village and Mori Village to form “Hanishina-Yashiro Town". (The name was later changed to “Yashiro Town".)

In Sarashina County, one town and four villages, Inariyama Town, Shiozaki Village, Nobuta Village, Kuwabara Village, and Yawata Village, discussed the merger. But Shiozaki Village was considering a merger with Shinonoi Town, and Nobuta Village wanted to proceed with a merger with Kofu Village.
In the end, Inariyama Town and Kuwabara Village merged to form “Inariyama-Kuwabara Town" in March 1955. (The name was later changed to “Inariyama Town".)
In addition, a part of Kuiseke Village located west of the Chikumagawa River was to be incorporated into Inariyama Town in 1955.

The situation at the end of 1955 was as shown on the map.

Yashiro Town and Kurashina Village were merged in September 1956 after the completion of a junior high school that had been established on the premise of a merger.
In that year, the Law for Promoting the Construction of New Municipalities was promulgated.

Situation as of 1956.

In 1958, the Local Autonomy Law was partially amended, and a special exception was made to the population requirement for city incorporation, allowing a city to be established if it had a population of 30,000.
Yashiro Town, Haniu Town, Inariyama Town, Yawata Village, and Shiozaki Village held a council meeting, but Shiozaki Village was favored to merge with Shinonoi Town and decided to join Shinonoi City Government in September.
In the same month, the application for merger was submitted to the governor by three towns and one village, Yashiro, Haniu, Inariyama, and Yawata.
However, a movement against the merger was subsequently launched by the Inarizan Town residents.
The application for merger was submitted to the national government by the governor, and in March 1959, the prime minister gave his approval. However, in the Inarizan town mayoral election in May, the mayor of the town, who was an opponent of the merger, was elected without election, and he insisted on opposing the merger.

Under such circumstances, Koshoku City was established in June 1959. The name of the city was chosen because it was located in the center of Hanishina and Sarashina counties, and the common name “Koshoku" had been used until then. 
The mayor of the old Yashiro town became the provisional mayor of Koshoku and was supposed to use the Inariyama Town Office as the city office as decided in advance, but the opposition occupied it and prevented him from doing so.
It was not until November 1960 that the old Inariyama Town Office could be used as the city office. Then the issue was finally resolved in March 1962.

The location of new city office building was determined at the February 1964 City Council meeting, at the location shown on the map.

The construction of the government building began in December 1964 and was completed in January 1966. However, the commemorative ceremony was not held until November, because In the first half of 1966 was the time when the magnitude of the Matsushiro swarm earthquakes were increasing.
The building is decorated with a pattern of ears of wheat to express the characteristics of the area, and in the center of the wall on the first floor is the Koshoku city emblem, which was established in 1962.

The last photo is the stone monument “Foundation of the City Government" built in 1969 for the 10th anniversary of the city government.
It says, “On June 1, 1959, three towns and one village Yashiro Town and Haniu Town, in Hanishina County,  Inariyama Town and Yawata Village in Sarashina county were merged to form the city of Koshoku". Considering the uproar at the time of the city establishment, many citizens may have been deeply moved to see this monument.

In the next issue, I will introduce photos of the inside of the government office building.

[Reference] (Both are written in Japanese.)
“Nagano Prefecture Municipal Merger History, Vol. 2: Municipalities, Towns and Villages, Upper Volume" (Edited by Local Section, Nagano Prefectural General Affairs Department / Nagano Prefecture / 1965)
“History of Koshoku City, Volume 3, Modern and Contemporary" (Koshoku City History Compilation Committee, Koshoku City / 1991)

Historical material

Posted by Sakyo K.