Hokumeiryo 北溟寮 is a male dormitory located in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture. Such dormitories and their traditions are fast disappearing in Japan. I had the pleasure to live next door to Hokumeiryo dormitory for several years. And during that time I observed some of the annual rituals that took place. In the evening hours after the day’s classes had finished things often became…well some might say “boisterous” or “raucous,” but I would term it as “festive.” I particularly appreciate their having allowed my son and I to join the ranks of their parade as it snaked through the narrow, winding streets of our neighborhood one night.
I also enjoyed the larger than life bottle of sake that the students handcrafted. It denotes a central element in the dormitory life. And the array of television antennas on the roof, which students most likely set themselves, caught my eye as well. Resourcefulness.