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Snow Removal Stuff

Our colorful snow shovels

A variety of snow shovels (雪かきスコップ) are necessary for life here in the Minamiuonuma snow country.

Here are three of our colorful shovels, in different sizes and shapes.

The green shovel (スコップ) is a traditional shape snow shovel. It is used to scoop up the snow and throw the snow off to the side. This type has limited use here in snow country where there can be 60 or 70 centimeters (about two feet) of snow in just a single day. That is a lot of snow to lift and throw.

The yellow shovel (ラッセル型雪かき) is meant top push the snow to the side. It is like a little snow plow. Instead of lifting the snow, the snow is just pushed away. This works well with the light, fluffy type of snow.

The red shovel (スノーダンプ、ママダンプ) is designed to handle the massive snowfall in here in snow country. These shovels are manufactured locally. This type of shovel is called a “snow dump” or “mama dump”. It is used to scoop up the snow, slide it away, and dump it off to the side.

The name “mama dump” comes from its use by women (it is based on the word Mother or Mama). This region was primarily an agricultural area. In the past, when farming was not possible during the winter months, some men would temporarily move to other areas to work and earn money for their families. When their husbands were away, women had to do the bulk of the snow removal around their homes. Lifting a lot of snow with traditional snow shovels was not possible. So “snow dump” shovels were used to push the snow away. The shovels used by women were often a little smaller and lighter than regular “snow dump” shovels. These came to be called “mama dump” shovels.

Colorful snow shovels
Colorful snow shovels
Posted in Life, Stuff