Sushi roll artist helping local farmers

Sushi with strawberries, mandarin oranges and cherries – a 33-year-old homemaker in Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture, Aki Yamaoka is giving a helping hand to local rice farmers by creating several kinds of artistic sushi rolls featuring local agricultural products. The sushi rolls are called “kazari makizushi” in Japanese. They are made of rice colored with red pickled ginger and other ingredients, as well as vegetables and cheese. You arrange them delicately so that the cross-section will show motifs when the roll is cut. So far, she’s created more than 150 kinds of them with motifs she took from agricultural products and 12 Japanese zodiac animals, for example. Yamaoka always uses … Continue reading

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Domestic soybeans in natto production reach 22 percent in 2018, increasing 2.5 times in five years

TOKYO, June 24 – Domestically-grown soybeans occupied 22 percent of soybeans used to produce natto in 2018, marking the highest proportion since statistics were first compiled in 2003, according to Japan Natto Cooperative Society Federation. Makers of the fermented soybeans are increasing the use of domestic soybeans in response to growing tendency among consumers to opt for food items produced in Japan, and also because such soybeans are more suited to processing compared to imported ones. However, since imported soybeans still occupy nearly 80 percent of soybeans used in natto production, efforts by producing regions to respond to growing demands will become the key to raising the nation’s self-sufficiency of … Continue reading

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Japan to authorize more beef processing facilities to boost beef exports to U.S. and Europe

TOKYO, June 26 – As part of its policy to boost exports of farm produce, the government is authorizing four facilities each this year that can export beef to the United States and Europe respectively. The government also hopes to sign an animal health quarantine agreement with China by the end of this year to lift a ban on China’s imports of Japanese beef. It has been difficult for beef processing facilities to be authorized to export to the U.S. and Europe because of the need to meet the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) requirements. In the past, it sometimes took more than two years for a newly … Continue reading

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Kokeshium: traditional craft and domestic flowers combined to make brilliant debut

TOKYO, Jun. 24 – A kokeshi-shaped herbarium bottle from You Kaen, a flower distributer and seller based in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo, has been a big hit. The name of the product is Kokeshium. It’s a kokeshi doll with a glass body that contains dried flowers of domestically-grown globe amaranth, sophila and such, and specially designed herbarium oil. On top of the bottle is the face of a traditional wooden doll called Naruko Kokeshi made by artisans in Osaki City, Miyazaki Prefecture. The florist proposed it to raise attention to traditional arts using flowers and unique design. As soon as the product was released in May in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, it … Continue reading

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Norinchukin Bank partners with two Southeast Asian bank

TOKYO, March. 23 ― Norinchukin Bank, the cooperative financial arms of Japan’s largest farmers’ group, has designated Vietnam’s investment development bank and the Philippines’ BDO Unibank to be its partner banks to address the financing needs in the Southeast Asian region. Norinchukin Bank offers various banking services and providing financial support for the development of Japanese agricultural sector. The two Southeast Asian banks will serve the overall banking requirements of the Japanese bank’s customers who want to invest and establish their business in the region for the first time, Norinchukin Bank said on March 22.

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