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What is ‘WAKU WAKU City, Kumamoto’? WAKU WAKU means “exciting!”

We have come to an exciting and important crossroads in thinking about Kumamoto City’s existence. From a historical viewpoint, we’ve just seen the 400th anniversary of Kumamoto Castle construction (2007) and the 120th anniversary of the municipalization of Kumamoto City. From the viewpoint of future development, Kyushu bullet trains will become available along the entire line from Fukuoka through Kumamoto to Kagoshima in March, 2011.

The anniversary of Kumamoto Castle’s construction represents the birth of a castle town. It’s important for us to regard these 400 years of time not in reminiscences and retrospection, but as big steps towards the next era. Then we can call the 400 years “4∞,” meaning “for infinity”: the starting point which holds infinite possibilities for our future. In order to continue on this path together, we want to see what kinds of ideas we shall have, and think about concrete action plans we can make together.
Also, how we think about the 120th anniversary of the municipalization of Kumamoto City is extremely important. In a sense, this represents and also celebrates the birth of Kumamoto citizens, with their second Kanreki (a Japanese tradition in which we interpret people’s 60th birthdays as rebirth). We can see it as an opportunity for Kumamoto to be reborn.

The other big impact, the availability Kyushu bullet trains throughout Kyushu, will make it possible to come to Kumamoto from the Kansai area in only three hours. In other words, anybody can come directly to the center of Kyushu much more easily than before. This will allow us to promote the local advantages we have to help travelers go to Hakata, Kagoshima, Oita, and Nagasaki easily and conveniently.

With an official plan to become a government-ordinance-designated city in April, 2012, we should assume this crossroads to be a great opportunity to promote the importance of Kumamoto City. Therefore, we must clarify what it is that we want to promote about Kumamoto City’s existence, and start creating its “brand”. To do so, we must define these three points : 1. Who are we? 2. What can we do for others? 3. How do we want to thrive in the future?

1.Who are we?
We’re a city with the greatest abundance of groundwater and known as the City of Forests. Our people are characterized by the words, “Mokkosu” (pure, honest, yet very stubborn), “Wasamon” (always interested in new things), and “Hinokuni no hito” (very passionate).
2.What can we do for others?
Our citizens live in concert with the environment, and deeply consider the precious resources of the earth, such as the groundwater from the springs of Mt. Aso. We help dreams come true through passion. We can sustain our garden city with our nature: water, passion, and greenery.
3.How do we want to thrive in the future?
The Kumamoto Castle’s 400th anniversary is a step toward “4∞” (for infinity). This town is not activated by past heritage alone, but also with a clear path towards the future of Kumamoto.

So, to recap the concepts written above, here is our campaign slogan:
“WAKU WAKU City Kumamoto: The Exciting City of Kumamoto”

Its symbolic colors are blue, the color of spring water, red, the color of our passion, and green, the color of ample nature. In addition, we use the symbolic shapes of hearts in those colors to express the feeling of ‘WAKU WAKU,’ or excitement. These combine to imply the declaration: “WAKU WAKU City Kumamoto!.

Kumamoto ramen Higo Zogan Kumamoto Castle