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Mayor of Dazaifu City
Mr. Daizoo Kusuda

The start of the Reiwa era brought us an opportunity to establish a relationship with the region's leading product

Mayor of Dazaifu City
Daizoo Kusuda

About Dazaifu City

Approximately 1,300 years ago, a large municipal office called "Dazaifu (Omikotomochi-no-Tsukasa)" was established. It governed over Kyushu and played an active role for approximately 500 years. The remains of Dazaifu and its fortress, along with Kanzeonji Temple, Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, and many other historical sites can still be seen within the city. Many sightseers visit these points of interest every year, creating a flourishing tertiary industry, with effects found chiefly in the services sector.

Furthermore, the city is close to Fukuoka City, and has been developing as a residential city in the Fukuoka metropolitan area, rich in historical sites and nature.

About the Mayor

Mayor Kusuda was born in Chikushino City, Fukuoka Prefecture on April 20, 1975. After graduating from Futsukaichi Elementary School, Kurume University Junior/Senior High School, he spent two years studying to enter Tokyo University. After this, he attempted to become government official but did not pass the examinations. After being refused at approximately 30 private companies, he finally entered Sumitomo Bank, the only company that opened their doors to him. However, he quit his job at the bank after one year and five months, aiming to become a government official again, but to no avail. After much deliberation, he entered the world of politics by becoming a secretary for former Prime Minister Tsutomu Hata, and was elected to the House of Representatives for the first time at 28 years old. After enjoying success at three consecutive elections, he took the post of Parliamentary Secretary of Defense at 34, only to be defeated at elections three times in a row. After a second phase of careful deliberation, he ran for the mayor's office of Dazaifu City and was successfully elected at a time when the area was suffering from turmoil.

After seven years in total spent reaching toward success in university, becoming a government official, and in elections, he is now 44 years old and uses his experience to communicate the importance of taking on challenges to the children of Dazaifu.

The start of the Reiwa era brought us an opportunity to establish a relationship with the region's leading product

With the announcement of the new era name "Reiwa" on April 1, we discussed installing a commemorative monument using Hometown tax at the historical site of the Dazaifu government office. The plum flower banquet is known to have ties with the origin of the Reiwa name, this banquet is said to have been held in this location. The concept was to "Preserve the event of having the new era name, based on a plum flower banquet held in Dazaifu 1,300 years ago, as a monument to be handed down over the next 1,300 years."

Initially, there were many different ideas such as to install a stone monument, but as there already were other stone monuments, we were looking for something new. That was when we consulted President Kadotani at TOYO STAINLESS POLISH INDUSTRY Co., Ltd., as this local company had expertise with processing customized "designer metal plates," and its major product "IP Gold Titanium" received an excellent prize in the Monodzukuri Nippon Grand Award by the government.

Thoughts and future prospects for TranTixxii, the material that transcends time

As we continued our meetings with President Kadotani, we were introduced to the titanium "TranTixxii," which was dubbed as a "material that transcends ages." I felt that this material was perfect for our concept and immediately decided on using it.

In this way, the project was named the "Time Traveler Project commemorating the new era name "Reiwa"—transcending 1,300 years across space and time." We planned to use "TranTixxii" in a universally beautiful monument engraved with the prefaces to 32 poems in Manyoshu (Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves), the anthology featuring the origin of the "Reiwa" name, along with the names of the people who made donations for this monument. We received a huge response toward this project, with donations from 617 people totaling to 6,860,000 yen.

Thanks to these efforts, we have just recently conducted the unveiling ceremony of this monument that was built through the support of many participants. As mentioned in the concept for the project, we hope that our city will develop as a Monodzukuri town, making creations that will be handed down over the next 1,300 years, just as it is doing today.

The torch relay for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games will be held in 2020 at our city. The General Assembly of National Municipalities for Historical Site Development will also be held here for the first time in 51 years in Fukuoka Prefecture. We look to greet many visitors both from within the country and from overseas. As the region in which the "Reiwa" name originated, we will continue to make efforts toward becoming one of Japan's leading cities so that both citizens and visitors can share the joy of being in the area together.

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