Hot-blooded Chuo coed goes all-out to save Yokosuka


Miri Hachimura wears ”YOKOSUKA NAVY PARKA"
Miri Hachimura wears ”YOKOSUKA NAVY PARKA"

 Yokosuka, located just south of Tokyo, is known as a city that is losing population at an alarming pace. It may look attractive to outsiders, but the reality is not that sweet. Local people put their heads together to solve the problem, but no revolutionary ideas came out. It was an idea presented by a group of high-school girls that helped to find a way out of the cul-de-sac. One of the girls was Miri Hachimura, now a second grader of Chuo’s Faculty of Law’s Law Department. She invented “YOKOSUKA NAVY PARKA (hoodie)” by capitalizing on the city’s famed food “Yokosuka navy burger”. She joined her six friends to enter it into a student policy competition sponsored by the municipal government. Her group won the top prize in the contest for appealing the city’s charms to the rest of Japan as well as local citizens. Hakumon Herald invited Hachimura to talk about her deep affection for her town.



Hachinura poses for photo with her friends who took part in the competition together
Hachinura poses for photo with her friends who took part in the competition together

-Why did you take part in the competition?



Hachimura: When I was a senior high-school student, I could find three months of free time because I had done with my university entrance exam earlier than other test-takers. I decided to take part in the competition to spend fulfilling days.



-What has led you to the idea of “Yokosuka Navy Parka”?



 Hachimura: I felt so lonely to see people leaving Yokosuka, my beloved town where I was born and grew up. Yokosuka citizens do love their town but many of them seem to have some inferiority complex perhaps because it is overshadowed by the adjoining Kamakura, Shonan and Yokohama which are better known. Presumably because of that, Yokosuka has become a municipality where a population outflow is continuing at one of the fastest paces in Japan. I was thinking that any tools of tourist attraction wouldn’t bring a fundamental solution to the population drain unless they make people feel proud to be a Yokosuka citizen. Then I hit on the idea of “Yokosuka Navy Parka” spoofed from our popular food Yokosuka navy burger.



  -How did you devise it?


Hachimura: I thought if Yokosuka citizens could find their town’s new charm, they wouldn’t easily make up their mind to leave. So, we organized an event in which anyone wearing our parka can get preferences from various shops in the town. Our event gave citizens a chance to know more about their town. It helped them deepen their sense of affinity for their town.