Better get ready for the fight – Hiraniwa Bullfight Meet in Kuji

IWATE, Jun. 17 – Yamagata Town, Kuji City, Iwate Prefecture, is the only place to host a bullfight meet four times a year in the Tohoku (North Eastern) region in Japan. The meet, called Togyu in Japanese, is for local shorthorn bulls which are known to have strong backs and good patient. The fighters in this year’s June tournament called “Tsutsuji Basho” included a young bull of about 400 kilograms and the Yokozuna Champion of over 1 ton, and they all staged exciting games. The Hiraniwa Bullfighting Meet is held at a permanent bullring of a diameter of 2.2 meters on the Hiraniwa Highland. Bull handlers called seko scream and … Continue reading

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Young ruling bloc candidates close to farm industry suffer defeat in Upper House election

TOKYO, July 24 – While the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito won a majority in the Upper House election, many younger candidates with close ties to the agricultural industry were defeated. Meanwhile, veteran candidates of the ruling parties well-acquainted with farm policies fared well in the proportional representation segment. Few candidates of the opposition parties focused on agricultural policies in their campaigns. LDP’s Yoshimasa Hayashi, former agriculture minister, won his fifth term. Touching on the issue of depopulation in regional areas, Hayashi said: “We have to work on strengthening not only the agriculture sector, but also other industries.” Ryosuke Kozuki of LDP, a senior member of … Continue reading

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Japan’s Agricultural Cooperatives Challenging Regional Revitalization: Aiming at Reconstruction of “Solidarity”

                                                                                                                                      August 1st, 2018 Norinchukin Research Institute Co., Ltd. YUKITOMO Wataru, Senior Fellow ■Abstract “Self-reform” of agricultural cooperatives or JAs has three goals aiming at “increase in farmer’s income”, “expansion of agricultural production”, and “revitalization of regional societies”. Out of these goals, the revitalization … Continue reading

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Maruyama Senmaida rice terraces in Mie Prefecture attract visitors thanks to preservation efforts

MIE, June 3 – A scenic grouping of 1,340 rice paddies in the town of Kiwa in Kumano, Mie Prefecture, is attracting visitors as one of the largest rice terraces in the country. Stretching out on a farmland totaling 7.2 hectares cut into the sides of a 150-meter-high slope, the small rice paddies of various sizes – about 0.3 ares in average – are filled with water before the rice planting season and shimmer in the sunlight, forming gentle arcs that look like fish scales. In May, farmers start planting rice, using two-row transplanters. Records show that the rice terraces were created some 900 years ago, and that there were … Continue reading

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[Joy of Noh no Ikebana] Miyoko Nakamura (90) from Sakawa Town, Kochi Prefecture: Purple flowers and vegetables will give my arrangement beautiful colors

“I made my first Noh no Ikebana arrangement almost ten years ago when I saw one of my friends in my neighborhood started to post photos of her artworks. In my first arrangement, I remember, I used red and white flowering kale and white Japanese daikon radish and put them in a big shallow ball called sawachi, which we use for local dishes. Since then, I’m having fun making arrangements on my own, using unique materials such as funny-shaped sprouting Konjac and a monster daikon radish. In Noh no Ikebana, I can express my imagination freely, and that’s why I like it very much. The theme of this arrangement is … Continue reading

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