The city of Ohtawara in Tochigi Prefecture has released an interesting video meant to entice people into relocate to the city.
The video, which is called “Heartwarming Ohtawara Home Videos” (大田原ほっこりホームビデオ), is as the name implies, a series of (9) short “home videos” featuring a father and son engaging in various activities throughout the city of Ohatawara. Most of the segments involve the father using his smartphone to film his son as he does rather mundane things like reading a history book or eating spicy dumplings.
However, each segment also has a magical and unexpected twist. Saying anything more than that would ruin the fun so the only other thing I will add is watch out for those spicy dumplings.
Although the video does feature a minimal amount of spoken dialogue, it is still very enjoyable even if you don’t speak Japanese. Check it out below.
At the end of the video we see the boy’s mother, who is away in Tokyo, watching the last video that had been sent to her. She then calls her son to tell him that she is now heading back to Ohtawara but the boy doesn’t even wait for her to finish before he starts telling her to hurry back.
Recently, many places in rural Japan have adopted “relocation” programs as a way of enticing people living in major cities into moving to these less populated areas. Much like in many other parts of the world there is a tendency for younger residents of these areas to leave their hometowns and move to major cities. This in combination with the steady decrease in population that Japan has been experiencing for quite some time now has put the continued existence of many of these smaller cities and towns in peril. Because of this these areas are trying all sorts of things to attract new residents, including offering monetary rewards to those who choose to relocate. However, it seems unlikely that money alone will solve this problem. It’s more likely that only the places that can catch people’s attention will be able to persuade those living in the cities to give rural life a chance and Ohtawara may have just done that with this video.
Not only does the video do a good job of showing off various places in Ohtawara but it also is quite successful at entertaining while at the same time subtly suggesting to viewers that Ohtawara is a great place to raise a family. The video presents us not with a mother and child, but rather with a father and child spending quality time together, something which is often quite difficult to do in major cities since many fathers work so much that they are barely able to spend any time with their children.
Additionally, through its use of CG and camera tricks the video beautifully accomplishes its goal of showing how growing up in a more rural place like Ohtawara can help develop children’s imagination.