Okawa village hall
Location of Ōkawa in Kōchi Prefecture
|• Total||95.28 km2 (36.79 sq mi)|
|• Density||5.5/km2 (14/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|Website||Village of Ōkawa|
As of 2003, the village has an estimated population of 434 and a density of 4.55 persons per km². The total area is 95.28 km². Ōkawa is said to be the smallest town located on the four main islands of Japan.
A large portion of the village was submerged following the completion of Sameura Dam on the Yoshino River in nearby Motoyama in 1977. As a result of this event, the population of the village dropped from about 4,000 to its current total of about 500.
The major industry in Ōkawa Village is logging; much of the town's mountains have been converted into a cedar tree farm. Additionally, the Shirataki copper mine (白滝鉱山) located in Ōkawa was in operation between 1919 and 1985.
Despite its small size Ōkawa is home to an elementary and junior high school with approximately 30 students. There is also a nature center which runs summer camps and a study abroad program which allows Japanese youth the opportunity to live in a very remote mountain village for Elementary and/or Junior High School.
Ōkawa is regionally famous for its Black Beef cows and the annual Ōkawa Black Beef Festival (大川村謝肉祭 Shanikusai lit. 'Beef Gratitude Festival') has been known to draw up to a thousand people from around the area.
Media related to Ōkawa, Kōchi at Wikimedia Commons