Author Archives: The Japan Agricultural News

Neko-chigura cat cradles becoming increasingly popular among cats and cat lovers in Japan

NIIGATA, Dec. 14 – This is neko-chigura, a woven cat house made of rice stalks. As the number of cat lovers increases in Japan, Sekikawa Tourist Information Center “Nya-mu” in Sekikawa Village, Niigata Prefecture, is receiving a growing number of inquiries about the products from all over the country. At Nya-mu, you can see local crafters demonstrating the production process of the handmade huts. Neko-chigura is a folk craft derived from chigura, traditional rice straw baskets for babies of farmers working out in the fields some time ago. Its history began about forty years ago when Sekikawa villagers started to make them as unique local products. The straw cradles are … Continue reading

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Wakayama producing heart-shaped ume-boshi that grabs hearts of youth

WAKAYAMA, Dec. 7 – Young Japanese ume fruits growers and designers in Wakayama Prefecture collaborated to produce heart-shaped ume pickles using nanko-ume, the best Japanese apricot brand in Japan. The photogenic traditional fermented sour pickles (called ume-boshi in Japanese) will grab the hearts of young people, they said. They’re whole pieces of deseeded ume-boshi which are molded using heart-shaped frames. The repeated use of food driers made them drier and thicker in texture. A team of 15 ume apricot farmers in their 20s and 30s in Minabe Town and Tanabe City in Wakayama Prefecture and designers of a Wakayama-based company specializing in developing and selling ume products, moro molo, developed … Continue reading

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Long life tofu attracting popularity with more makers releasing products made from Japan-grown soybeans

TOKYO, Dec. 14 – More manufacturers are recently releasing long life tofu products with best-before period of 100 days or more. Many of them use domestically-grown soybeans. They hope the products with long shelf life will be used for such purposes as emergency supplies, e-commerce and outdoor activities, as well as being exported overseas. Imuraya Co., a food and sweets manufacturer in Tsu, Mie Prefecture, released on Dec. 3 Umashi Tofu Long Shelf Life 180, which has a shelf life of 180 days if kept in the refrigerator. The firm developed its own manufacturing method of extending shelf life. The product, made by squeezing thick soy milk produced completely from … Continue reading

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FY2020 feeding damage up 2%, stronger measures needed: Farm Ministry

TOKYO, Dec. 7 – Nationwide damage to agricultural products by wild birds and animals in Japan was 16.19 billion yen in the fiscal year 2021, up 2% from the year earlier, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan (MAFF). The increase is attributable mainly to the rise in crop damage by deer in Hokkaido, while the damage by wild boars also rose in some areas. MAFF called on prefecture and municipal governments to reinforce measures by implementing an intensive nationwide campaign to catch wild birds and animals that can cause agricultural damage in the fiscal year 2021. The wildlife damage in Japan once declined for six … Continue reading

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Tomato leaf miner detected in Japan for the first time

KUMAMOTO, Dec. 1 – The tomato leaf miner, a serious pest of tomatoes and other Solanaceous plants, was detected in Japan for the first time in Kumamoto Prefecture in November. The insect, a species of leaf eating moth, is referred to as “tomato Ebola” in some countries because of the severe damage it causes to crops, threatening tomato production worldwide. Farmers must take pest control measures to detect it quickly and prevent an outbreak in Japan. The pest, which originates from South America, has been detected in at least 80 countries. After it invaded Spain in 2006, it spread quickly to Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, Taiwan and China. It has … Continue reading

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