Our town, located as it is
within the Kanto Plain, is so flat that people in Meiwa
joke about the fact that "the highest point in town
is the bank along the Tone River". Affectionately known
as "Bando Taro", the Tone River flows through
the southern part of town. It's a big river with the distance
between the riverbanks appraoching 700 meters in some spots.
The length of our long and narrow town, along the river
from east to west, is 11 km., and the width, from north
to south, is 3 km.
Relics from Yajima ruins
confirm the fact that people have been living in this region
and developing their own culture the Jomon era some 1500
years ago. The great figure in literature from the Meiji
period, Tayama Katai, was quite fond of this region and
many of his works dealt with life here. His novel Dote no
Ie (House on the Riverbank) is based upon an eating establishment
housed in a two-story polygonal roofed home in the Kawamata
district of Meiwa. The story deals with the relatively stagnant
life of the Tanaka family that runs an inn and the vivid
life of an innocent young woman and her transformation towards
sophistication near the wharf on the riverbanks in Kawamata.
The building that served as the model for the inn in Dote
no Ie still stands.
Today, a new culture is flourishing
thanks to a hometown revitalization project that has led
to the establishment and development of the Furusato Plaza
(Hometown Plaza). The plaza contains broad expanses of verdant
grass and a multipurpose plaza, tennis courts, a marine
center, a hometown industrial and cultural archives as well
as a library. It is a popular place for people to gather
and enjoy new encounters, or just to relax and get away
from it all. It is one of the most popular spots in town.