Category Archives: Food & Agriculture

A group in Ishikawa Prefecture collects more than 10 million yen in crowdfunding to recover quake-hit rice terraces

ISHIKAWA, Feb. 22 — A group working to preserve the Shiroyone Senmaida rice terraces in the city of Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, seriously damaged by the Noto Peninsula earthquake in January, launched a crowdfunding campaign to recover the terraces and managed to collect funds topping the initial target amount of 10 million yen. The rice terraces are the collection of 1,004 terraced rice fields and the symbol of Noto’s satoyama and satoumi — traditional landscapes and seascapes where humans live in harmony with the natural environment — which have been added to the list of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The … Continue reading

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Dairy farmer in Hokkaido develops mine clearing vehicle from grass mower to avoid war casualties in Ukraine

HOKKAIDO, Feb. 24 – A 68-year-old cattle farmer in Hokkaido, Mitsuharu Fukayo, has made a commercially available grass mower into a mine sweeping vehicle for Ukraine. Wheels attached to a remotely controlled vehicle will apply pressure to the ground and let underground mines explode. “I want the war to end soon,” he said, praying for peace. Fukayo raises 600 dairy cows as a representative of United Farm, a dairy farm corporation in Betsukai Town, Hokkaido. As an amateur developer, he decided to do something to help people suffering in the war in Ukraine and came up with the idea to design this mine-sweeping vehicle. The vehicle is made up of … Continue reading

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Rape blossoms in full bloom in central Japan

SHIZUOKA, Feb. 20 — Yellow rape blossoms are in full bloom on a field in the town of Minamiizu, Shizuoka Prefecture. Due to a warm winter this year, the blooming started in early December, about a month earlier than usual. Members of the town’s agriculture promotion association first planted rapeseeds on a 3.2-hectare field about 20 years ago and the place has since then become known as a sightseeing spot during spring. Boardwalks are created so that visitors can walk on the field and watch the blossoms closely. Shizuo Ishii, 69, a member of the association’s agriculture support center who manages the field, said, “The plants weren’t affected by typhoons … Continue reading

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Outlandish okayu rice porridge selling increasingly well to health-conscious consumers, new specialty shops opening

TOKYO, Feb. 6 – The consumption of new types of okayu Japanese rice porridge is likely to grow for its outlandishness. As the number of people wanting better-for-you foods increases, okayu specialty restaurants have gained even a male following. Porridge made by cooking raw rice in Chinese-style soup, for example, has gained repeat customers as a filling choice. Western-style porridge that uses bacon and cheese and gorgeously arranged bowls of okayu have also become popular, especially on social networking sites (SNSs).Green House Foods (Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo) currently runs seven congee specialty restaurants, Kayu-san-chin nationwide, whose sales grow at a record-setting pace. Kayu-san-chin offers Chinese congee at about 800 to 1,000 … Continue reading

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Non-standard strawberries used in skincare facial masks in central Japan

FUKUI, Feb. 9 — ICHIGOOJI, a strawberry farm in Sakai, Fukui Prefecture, put on sale 3D facial masks containing strawberry extract as skincare ingredient. The farm came up with its own compound of ingredients for the masks to increase their skin-conditioning effects, making use of extract from non-standard strawberries. It set up a skincare brand Dr. BERRY with an aim to boost its revenues. The ingredients include strawberry fruit and seed extracts that help improve skin condition and white strawberry juice with skin moisturizing properties, as well as human adipose-derived stem cell-conditioned media extract that activate cells. The farm cultivates three strawberry varieties — Akihime, Benihoppe and a white strawberry … Continue reading

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