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Kenji Boys
The “Kenji” still alive and Well to this day

Hiroki Ishikawa
“Campanella” Proprietor

Kenji Miyazawa was interested in a wide variety of studies, cultures, and natural providence, devoting his passion and ideas to these throughout his life. This series of stories features the young men of Iwate who perpetuate such creativity and spirituality in the modern world.


Live to fish

A love of fishing. Not only did he decide where to live based on fishing, Ishikawa-san oriented his whole life around it.  He is currently running “Campanella”, a fly rod manufacturer in the quiet riverside town of Shiwa. As the first rod manufacturer in Japan to meticulously craft rods from blank shafts, he has many loyal patrons.

“So for example, you can only cast once with a fly, whereas with a lure you can cast ten times. Rather than the number of fish you catch, fly fishing is more about the joy of reeling one in. Only when you know what kind of insects the fish you are targeting eats, and what kind of insects are in that area, can you prepare the lure and have a shot at catching that fish. The process of understanding the environment, the ecology of fish and insects, and thinking about what kind of lure to prepare is also fun. There are mountain streams all over Iwate. I’ve been fishing here for over 20 years, and I still can’t get enough of it.”

When he was in his 20s, he was looking for a place to just fish which happened to end up being the mountain streams of Iwate. He decided to live here with the sole intention of fishing, and since he didn’t have a house at first, started out living in a tent on the riverbank.

“As I was working and meeting new people my pool of fishing friends kept growing. I was just into fishing and word of mouth got out about my passion and I was invited to start a rod manufacturing business, which turned into Campanera. 

The more I listened to Ishikawa’s story the more I realized the power of love. When you love something this much it becomes easy to surmount obstacles.

“I like fishing, but it’s equally fun to create fishing rods. It’s definitely what I want to do from now on.”

Ishikawa says that the name “Campanella” a character’s name for a Miyazawa Kenji novel came from his desire for people to enjoy fishing throughout their lives without forgetting how they felt as kids. 

Hiroki Ishikawa
Born in Kanagawa Prefecture. When in his 20s, moved to the mountain streams of Iwate after searching for a place where he could immerse himself in fly fishing. After helping to launch “Campanella,” he became its second CEO in 2010.

text | Miguel Utsunomiya Photography | Shuhei Tonami