What kind of charm and value can be found in products born from the connection between the blessings of the land and the people who make the most of it? We would like to explore the charms of the people who harness the blessings of the land to create things, and the things that are born from such a connection.
During the pioneer days of Hokkaido, indigo plant cultivation was attempted in various parts of Hokkaido by settlers from Tokushima, the main indigo plant production area in Japan. Indigo cultivation began in 1874 in Date, which has a temperate climate. We met Shinohara Kazutoshi, the fourth generation of indigo plant farmers and indigo dyers who have been cultivating indigo plants and producing indigo dye generation after generation.
UNIQUE JEAN STORE has been collaborating with domestic brands such as Osaka's SAMURAI JEANS and Okayama's MOMOTARO JEANS to create original jeans with a special Hokkaido flavor. To celebrate its 40th anniversary last year, they released MENKOI jeans made using indigo produced 100% in Hokkaido.
Natural Island (headquartered in Sapporo) is a manufacturer of skincare cosmetics that utilize natural ingredients from Hokkaido and provide them nationwide via mail order. Why did they choose Shiraoi as a base of operations?
Takizawa Veneer in Ashibetsu manufactures veneer and plywood mainly from broadleaf trees produced domestically in Japan. They developed Paper-Wood, which is plywood made by putting colored recycled paper between veneers, and it features a beautiful cross-section of the wood's edge. Products that incorporate these characteristics first attracted attention overseas.
It is now known that the white birch has many uses and even holds the potential to provide support for sustainable forest usage.
Chobirico Jam offers an interesting combination of jams. The ingredients include vegetables from Hokkaido along with some fruits and spices. The lovely jams are created in the workshop of Chobirico. Jam Laboratory.
We saw the potential for spirit production in Hokkaido beginning in Shakotan using Hokkaido's natural features.
What is the best way to market local products and tourism programs that make the most of local resources? In Nakagawa, a regional trading company has been organized and is making efforts to market the town.