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A Family Farm (Photos)Motono Katsuyoshi

Rejecting city life, the Tanakas set out to become farmers. Photographer Motono Katsuyoshi captures their daily life with their three children in rural Ibaraki Prefecture.

Tighter Rules on Japanese Wine Labeling (News)

Yamagata, Jan. 20 (Jiji Press)—Some Japanese wineries are moving to change their product indications containing geographical names ahead of the planned tightening of place-of-origin rules. The new rules aim to prevent consumer misunderstandings as the reputation of domestic wines continues to rise. Among them is Takeda Winery in the city of Kaminoyama, Yamagata Prefecture, whose mainstay produc…

The Enterprising Village at the Heart of the “Yuzu” Boom

At the epicenter of the yuzu boom, the tiny village of Umaji in Kōchi Prefecture is an inspiring example of a rural community that rebuilt its economy through homegrown entrepreneurship centered on a traditional local product.

New Brand of Blue-Tinted Cyclamen Unveiled in Japan (News)

Narita, Chiba Pref., Nov. 9 (Jiji Press)—Suntory Flowers Ltd. showed off its new brand of "blue cyclamen" in Narita, Chiba Prefecture, on Thursday. "Edo no Ao" flowers await shipment at a Suntory Flowers facility in Narita, Chiba. (© Jiji) The cyclamen, which has many indigo petals and is named "Edo no Ao," was unveiled to the press by the company, a unit of major Japanese food and beverage…

Japanese Natural Farming Guru Kawaguchi Yoshikazu

For decades now, Kawaguchi Yoshikazu has been challenging conventional agricultural wisdom by rejecting not only chemicals but also machinery, organic fertilizer, and tillage. We asked Kawaguchi to share his wisdom on natural farming and stewardship of the planet.

Japan’s Food Self-Sufficiency Rate Hits 23-Year Low in FY 2016 (News)

Tokyo, Aug. 9 (Jiji Press)—Japan's food self-sufficiency rate hit a 23-year low on a calorie basis in fiscal 2016, which ended in March, due mainly to falling rice consumption, the farm ministry said Wednesday. The self-sufficiency rate fell one percentage point from the previous year to 38%, its lowest level since it hit 37% in fiscal 1993. The drop was caused by significant falls in the pr…

Japan Trying to Boost Certified Farmers for Tokyo Olympics (News)

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—Japan's agriculture ministry has launched efforts to increase certified agricultural producers in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, where the number of meals to be served for athletes and staff will likely exceed the level of some 15 million distributed during the 2012 London Games. Agricultural producers supplying food materials for the upcoming quadre…

Japan Likely to Trigger Beef Import Safeguard for First Time in 14 Years (News)

Tokyo, July 26 (Jiji Press)—The Japanese government is poised to impose a safeguard measure to protect domestic cattle farmers against foreign beef for the first time in 14 years, in response to a surge in imports of frozen products from the United States, informed sources said Wednesday. The government is considering invoking the safeguard by raising the tariff rate from 38.5% to 50% on Tuesda…

Tochigi’s Strawberries: Red Jewels for the Crown of Japanese AgricultureJulian Ryall

Tochigi, north of Tokyo, is Japan’s top producer of strawberries. Visitors to the prefecture’s farms enjoy all-you-can-eat picking tours and come away raving about the sweet, juicy berries. Tochigi is also the source of the very finest specimens of the red fruit, shipped around the country for inclusion in exquisite desserts.

Golden Eggs: Taiyō no Tamago Brand Mangoes Fetch ¥400,000 at Auction (Japan in Photos)

Auctioneers take bids on boxes of Taiyō no Tamago brand mangoes on April 13, 2017, at the wholesale market in Miyazaki, Miyazaki Prefecture. Boxes containing two each of the high-end fruit grown in nearby Saito hit markets in Tokyo, Osaka, and other parts of the country. One set of mangoes sold to a buyer from a department store in Fukuoka for a record-breaking ¥400,000. The brand maintains st…

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