A Visit To Hokkaido

| April/May 1994

805 Nagatani Mansion 3-42-13 Nishiogikita Suginami-ku,Tokyo-to 167 Japan

Hokkaido, the northernmost of the four main islands which make up Japan, was not systematically settled until the nineteenth century. At that time it was found that agricultural techniques employed in mainland Honshu were not suitable for the cold, dry climate of Hokkaido, and American agricultural advisers were employed, with the result that farming in Hokkaido bears a resemblance to farming in the U.S. Along with advisers, agricultural machinery was also imported, some of which survives in museums today.

Danshaku Shiryokan's Cleveland Tractor Co. (Cleveland, Ohio) tractor, serial number 1076. Tractor is powered by a Weidely Motor, made in Indianapolis, U.S.A., Model M, serial number 30141.

During the summer vacation, I visited two such museums. The Historical Village of Hokkaido, near Sapporo, the main city of Hokkaido, is an open-air pioneer village, with over seventy buildings dating from the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth century.

A collection of farm tractors and gas engines is displayed in one of these buildings, which was originally a farm machinery shed on a sheep farm. The Danshaku Shiryokan, near the port of Hakodate, is dedicated to the memory of Baron Ryokichi Kawada, who is famous throughout Japan for having developed the 'Danshaku' (Baron) potato. Baron Kawada also owned the first private automobile in Japan, a Locomobile Style 2 number 3605, which he purchased in 1901 for 2,500 yen. The car, restored to working order, is on display at the museum, and was featured in a number of Japanese films and documentaries. Also on display is a tractor made by the Cleveland Tractor Company, Cleveland, Ohio, serial number 1076. The tractor's power unit is a Weidely motor, from Indianapolis, U.S.A., model M, serial number 30141. I would be interested to receive information about this tractor, and any of the other machinery shown in the photographs.


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