Ox-shaped lucky daruma doll making at peak before New Year’s Day in Japan

KANAGAWA, Nov. 12 – A shop in Hiratsuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, is now super-busy making cow-shaped lucky dolls called “eto daruma” for sales during the year change period. Arai Darumaya is an old firm specialized in producing “Soshu daruma,” a papier-mache doll with a long-established tradition that dates back to the Keio era, more than 150 years ago. The shop makes an original animal-shaped daruma doll every year as a lucky charm for the new year. In the Chinese zodiac calendar, 2021 is the year of the ox, so it’s currently making the dolls in the shape of a milking cow. The local artisans paste several pieces of “washi” traditional paper … Continue reading

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JA Group Ibaraki and Kubota holds drive-in-theater-style agricultural machine show avoiding 3Cs

IBARAKI, Dec. 3 – An agricultural cooperative group in Ibaraki Prefecture (JA Group Ibaraki) and Kubota Corporation held a very new agricultural machinery show at the JA Agricultural Machinery Center in Ibaraki Town, Ibaraki Prefecture. The show was held in a setting like a drive-in theater, avoiding 3Cs (closed, crowded, and close-contact environments) and the spread of COVID-19 for the first time as an agricultural cooperative in Japan. A 270-inch monitor was placed on one side of the center stage to display product descriptions. Approximately 130 people, mostly corporative members, booked the tickets in advance and enjoyed the show sitting in 67 vehicles in the parking lots. The attendees listened … Continue reading

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CowTuber Kazuma Tanaka beaming messages directly to consumers from Kami Town, Hyogo prefecture

HYOGO, Nov. 2 – A Japanese wagyu beef breeder in Kami, Hyogo Prefecture, the town known as one of the producers of high-quality Tajima-brand beef, is actively sharing his warm views on wagyu and scenes from his daily life on a video-sharing website YouTube. Despite being a certified cattle hoof trimmer and a super-busy manager of the farm that also handles meat processing and direct sales, the 42-year-old cattleman has created over 240 “CowTube” videos so far. “I want to show the deep and rich part of the life of a cattleman,” he said. “Hi, I’m Kazuma Tanaka from Tanaka Chikusan!” His YouTube post always starts with this cheerful greeting. … Continue reading

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[Noh no Ikebana for every season] Receive energy from ikebana arrangements amid COVID-19 crisis

HIROSHIMA, Sep. 25 – The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many events to be canceled or postponed. So, Setsuko Muneoka in Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Prefecture, displays her Noh no Ikebana arrangement at a local communication center in Shiwahori to celebrate the coming of the harvest festival season. “I hope people feel happier when they see my Noh no Ikebana arrangement,” Muneoka said, explaining the thought she put into the work. ・Joy of festival on full display The theme of this arrangement is a local harvest festival. Rice stalks, lotus leaves, taro leaves, mountain grapes, persimmons, chestnuts, and all other beautiful materials from rice fields, vegetable gardens, and mountains are on display. … Continue reading

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Japan passes bill to prevent outflow of fruit and vegetable varieties

TOKYO, Dec. 3 – A bill aimed at protecting Japanese-developed fruit and vegetable varieties from being taken abroad is passed in the Upper House of Japan’s parliament on Dec. 2. The revised seed and seedling protection law, expected to take effect in April next year, will allow plant breeders to limit areas where their varieties can be grown to places within the country or designated prefectures. Another revision to the law, which will take effect in April 2022, will introduce a permission system for the use of seeds that domestic farmers collect from registered varieties they harvest for next season’s planting. Currently, it is not illegal to take seeds and … Continue reading

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