Japanese Tatami yoga mat building buzz overseas

FUKUOKA, May 24 -Colorful tatami-like yoga mats made of Japanese igusa soft rush grass are becoming popular worldwide. They have high moisture absorbency properties and odor eliminating effect. “Their good aroma makes it easier to do nasal breathing, which is an essential part of yoga,” and “their surface never gets sticky even when you are sweaty,” some said. The product is called “Tatami Yoga.” It’s designed and commercialized by Ikehiko Corporation, an igusa product planner and producer based in Oki Town, Fukuoka Prefecture. The mats are made of igusa grown in Kumamoto and Fukuoka Prefectures. Igusa, dyed in red, blue, and all other beautiful colors, is woven in a traditional … Continue reading

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Prerequisites for market expansion of organic farm products in Japan:Case study of agricultural cooperatives and producers’ groups

July 1st, 2019 Norinchukin Research Institute Co., Ltd. HORIUCHI Yoshihiko, Research Counselor ■Abstract In recent years, while the area under organic cultivation and the market for organic farm products have been posting double-digit growth worldwide, the growth in Japan has been slow and the organic market in the nation remains a niche, still small compared with those of Western countries. This is attributable to various factors, including the difficulty of maintaining stable production of organic products in Japan due to weather conditions. Production costs are high as organic agriculture requires a great deal of labor to weed and distribution expenses are also high since production areas are scattered and are … Continue reading

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Kanagawa-based botanical garden creating a buzz with “one banana leaf” social distancing proposal

KANAGAWA, Jun. 23 – “Keep one-banana-leaf social distancing with others”. A botanical garden in Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture, says so in its poster it recently created. It was posted on the walls and the Internet for encouraging visitors to maintain social distancing as a preventative measure against the novel coronavirus, catching the attention of many, especially among social networking service (SNS) users. Ofuna Botanical Garden in Kanagawa Prefecture had been closed since April 10 after the state of emergency declaration, but it reopened on June 9. On the same day, the botanical garden posted a picture of two staff members standing apart from each other with a long big banana … Continue reading

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Japanese government to strengthen support on exports of food items consumed at home amid COVID-19 pandemic

TOKYO, June 20 – The Japanese government on June 19 presented measures to boost exports of farm produce and food items fit for consumption at home, as people in many countries are shifting to having meals at home amid the new coronavirus outbreak. As the sales of delivery food and online shopping of food items have been on a rise, the government confirmed at a meeting of a task force on exports of agricultural, forestry and fisheries products and food items its plan to support product development and establishment of processing and shipment facilities to respond to the trend. Since it is difficult for people to travel across national borders, … Continue reading

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Japan steadfast on not negotiating further on farm produce under trade agreement with U.S.: farm minister

TOKYO, June 20 – Agriculture minister Taku Eto reiterated on June 19 that agricultural products will not be subject to additional negotiations under the Japan-U.S. trade agreement that entered into force in January. Farm produce “will not be taken up” in the negotiations, Eto stressed at a regular news conference. “Thorough discussions have already been made and a final agreement was made” on the issue, he said. The bilateral trade agreement to reduce tariffs on agricultural and industrial products took effect in January, and the Japanese and U.S. governments had agreed to conclude consultations within four months after the date of entry into force to start the next round of … Continue reading

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