Philippine Department of Agriculture – Tokyo
Koge Hanagoshogaki persimmons tree-ripened in western Japan

Koge Hanagoshogaki persimmons tree-ripened in western Japan

TOTTORI, Dec. 5 — Koge Hanagoshogaki persimmons are being harvested in the town of Yazu, Tottori Prefecture. The persimmons, a local specialty, are a variety that is ripened on trees until after the onset of frost to remove the astringency. During harvest time between late November and mid-December, trees are stripped of leaves and left only with the fruit, turning orchards bright orange. Koge Hanagoshogaki is fine-textured and juicy, with sugar content of 18 to 20 degrees Brix. According to JA Tottori Inaba, a local agricultural cooperative, 87 farms in the area are cultivating the fruit on a total of some 12 hectares of land. They plan to ship roughly […]

Busy preparing for New Year’s arrival

Busy preparing for New Year’s arrival

NIIGATA, Dec. 19 -In Agano City, Niigata Prefecture, makers of Shimekazari, a traditional Japanese New Year’s decoration, have entered the busiest time of the year. The members of the shimekazari producers’ group of a local agricultural cooperative in Niigata (JA Niigata Kagayaki, Sasakami Branch) are now busy applying the final touches on the small round ropes made from rice straws by adding rice stalks and red-and-white strings called mizuhiki in Japanese. The group began producing shimekazari about 40 years ago. This year, its 32 members make 35,000 shimekazari in four different types for sale inside and outside the prefecture. JA asked local farmers to grow Yamahikari rice for an early […]

Hyogo Prefecture sets on improving the scent of Tajima beef

HYOGO, Oct. 23 – The Hyogo Prefectural Government, which is working to further enhance the quality of Tajima wagyu beef produced in the prefecture, has set on improving the scent of the meat. The Hyogo government plans to establish a technology within 10 years to assess the scent of the meat of each cow using genetic data and utilize it for wagyu beef improvement. The prefectural government has already identified components related to aroma and the ones that are found largely in Tajima beef. It hopes scents will become a new indicator for wagyu beef improvement in addition to the quality of fat which many wagyu beef producing regions are […]

Rest in peace in this tatami-like comfortable coffin

Rest in peace in this tatami-like comfortable coffin

KANAGAWA, Oct. 23 – A design company in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, has created beautiful coffins using igusa rush grass grown in Kyushu, the southernmost island of Japan. It’s an entirely new option that the company, doode, started to offer to match the diversifying funeral styles. The coffins featuring domestic materials are called “Midori no Okan,” which means a green coffin in Japanese. They are made of igusa rush grass grown in Fukuoka and Kumamoto Prefectures using traditional handicraft skills of “hanagoza” artisans in the Chikugo region in the southern part of Fukuoka Prefecture. (Hanagoza is a pretty traditional mattress made of igusa.) Toshin from Okawa City, Fukuoka Prefecture, weaves hanagoza, […]

Old farm equipment turned into work of art

Old farm equipment turned into work of art

NIIGATA, Nov. 1 – An artwork that looks like farm equipment such as hoes and plows are floating in the air, are attracting attention in Tokamachi, Niigata Prefecture. The artwork, titled “Time of Farm tools,” is one of the programs of this year’s Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale, a world-class art festival held once every three years in Tokamachi and Tsunan in the prefecture. Contemporary artist Tatsuo Kawaguchi created the artwork using old farm equipment borrowed from farmers in Tokamachi. Kawaguchi hanged 22 farm tools from the ceiling with wires and fixed them. He asked local farmers to take postures of using the tools and pose while he measured the angles with […]

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