There’s a famous novel by author Ibuki Yuki entitled “Spinning Clouds (Kumo wo Tsumugu)” that takes place in Morioka City, Iwate. (Note: In this case, “spinning” means processing material into yarn, not twirling or rotating) The local government is using this book to serve as a platform to share the charms of Morioka with the wider world through the “Spinning Clouds” Linking Project.

The main character of the novel is Mio, a high school student who opens her heart through getting to know her grandfather Kojiro, a wool-weaving artisan practicing Iwate’s traditional “homespun” craft. The family’s emotional landscape is delicately drawn by author Ibuki, all amongst the scenic, colorful backdrop of Morioka City. You’ll feel like you have entered the story yourself, and it becomes an opportunity to feel an affinity for the city of Morioka. The novel also helps people to reflect upon time spent meeting people and exploring the city, as well as the preciousness of the people you have spent that time with.


The hub for this project is an old Machiya-styled house in Morioka’s Nataya district called “Daiji Shimizu Resthouse.” This building served as a model for the Homespun craft showroom showcased in the novel. They’ve opened a popup book café modeled on the world of the book inside, where they’re selling books on Morioka and homespun crafts, as well as displaying art. The café’s menu provides drinks based on the story as well.

Check out their Instagram!(


The Nataya district of Morioka that serves as the setting of the novel used to be a port and way station for the boats that transported goods down the Kitakami River from the Edo period to the Meiji era. It thrived as an entrance to the castle town of Morioka and many roads led there. The shared well, temple area, and gorgeous nature over all four seasons that encompass this historic neighborhood were used and protected by the people who dwelled in the machiya structures. Thanks to this, this area still remains relatively unchanged today. The residents of the neighborhood possess a sense of duty and sympathy to their fellow man, and they live lives both proper and passionate. These upstanding individuals overflow with love and pride of their region, and this region is really a microcosm of Morioka as a whole, with its gentle aura and the evidence of the passage of time.


The well water at the Seiryusui and Daiji Shimizu wells have been selected as two of the best water sources in Japan in the Heisei era (1989-2019), and the famed local Asabiraki sake brewery uses the Daiji Shimizu water in its sake making.


We hope you’ll one day visit this historic and cultural area of Morioka, where people live among many historic structures.