December 21, 2015


Delivery of Magazines Together with Food Ingredients Increasing in Japan

Keywords: Disaster Reconstruction Food Newsletter 

JFS Newsletter No.159 (November 2015)

The Tohoku Taberu Tsushin (Eating Tohoku Magazine) initiative, which we introduced in the JFS Newsletter No. 140 (April 2014), is extending beyond the Tohoku region to other areas in Japan. Tohoku Taberu Tsushin is a monthly magazine focusing on those who are committed to producing tasty food ingredients in the Tohoku area based on their own philosophy. Each issue carries a story about a food producer, and his or her star recipe ingredient is delivered together with the magazine. A maximum of 1,500 people can subscribe to the magazine.

Starting from Tohoku: Tohoku Kaikon Aims to Reform Primary Industry through Information Sharing and Communication

Similar initiatives are spreading across the nation, and the number of Taberu Tsushin magazines has increased to 18, including Tohoku Taberu Tsushin, as of the end of October 2015. These Taberu Tsushin magazines are organized under the Japan Taberu Tsushin League, which was established in April 2014.

The league system was adopted so that each of the magazines could maintain its local uniqueness and autonomy while sharing a common vision. Representatives from individual magazines decide overall rules and operation policies on an equal footing.

Information on all of the Taberu Tsushin magazines across the country is available on the Japan Taberu Tsushin League's website platform. Here are appeals from each magazine:

Shikoku Taberu Tsushin
We are launching a new magazine that connects food producers and consumers. A variety of food ingredients and landscapes of Shikoku, such as the Seto Inland Sea, Shikoku Mountains and Pacific Ocean, are delivered to you with stories about the producers.

Higashi Matsushima Taberu Tsushin
This magazine will teach readers, specifically children, about "people" and "food." What the children learn from local food producers will provide them dreams and hopes. We hope that readers will come to like Higashi Matsushima even more by learning, experiencing and feeling. Through food, we will create new relationships between people.

Kanagawa Taberu Tsushin
This magazine aims to provide readers living in Kanagawa with knowledge about the producers and the richness of local food ingredients. Based in Kanagawa, an urban area, we will approach food issues from the perspective of an urban area and the consumers.

Taberu Tsushin from Niigata
People often take rice for granted, but they could not eat rice if it were not for the farmers growing it. This is what I learned after I moved to Niigata and started growing rice myself. I hope consumers can learn more about food producers, experience producing food together and enjoy tasty food made in Niigata.

Yamagata Taberu Tsushin
The purpose of this Taberu Tsushin is to discover the attractiveness of Yamagata by creating cordial ties between producers and consumers, as well as between urban areas and rural Yamagata. Receiving boxes filled with Yamagata's charm and making reciprocal visits among people will strengthen these ties, helping create a compassionate future where people take care of themselves and others.

Shimokita Hanto Taberu Tsushin
The Shimokita Peninsula in Aomori Prefecture has long had connections with various other places through maritime trade. Here people make their living by capitalizing on the relationship with other districts. Nowadays, we need to build new relationships. Let us make new relationships together through food.

Messages from High School Students: Fukushima Taberu Tsushin
We regret to find that unknowledgeable people believe Fukushima to be dangerous and avoid Fukushima-grown agricultural products. With fresh vegetables from Fukushima Prefecture, we would like to inform many people of the safety of Fukushima and the hopes of farmers who are working hard here.

Tsukiji Taberu Tsushin
In an age when people can buy food easily at any shop, we would like Tsukiji's professional authentic taste and passionate local producers to be better known. Our goal is to preserve Japan's beautiful dietary culture that survives in conjunction with localities.

Kaga Noto Taberu Tsushin
We would like to convey the simplicity of local life and good food itself, to deliver food fascinating from the producers' view and to say thank you to producers for invigorating this primary industry. We also hope children will aspire to primary production and pass their knowledge along to the next generation. We wish to portray the rich nature and dietary culture of Kaga Noto so people will be motivated to visit.

Hokkaido Taberu Tsushin
What we send to your home is a set containing an informative magazine with stories of food producers and their land in Hokkaido and the food the producers make. We provide a venue for communication with producers. You will treasure your daily dietary experiences more and more.

Hyogo Taberu Tsushin
We convey nature and human agency from the places where food is brought to life. Our lives are nourished through the consumption of life, including meat, fish and vegetables. This is quite natural but has been forgotten somehow. We would like you to appreciate it through the story of Hyogo's rich diet.

Ryori Gyokyo Taberu Tsushin (from the Fisheries Cooperative Association)
Our magazine focuses on all sorts of producers and conveys their thoughts, not as a stage for just a few producers, but for all producers as the main characters. We wish to convey the attractiveness and status of our fisheries as they really are, serving as a medium to create a future for them in conjunction with the Fisheries Cooperative Association and consumers.

Soma Taberu Tsushin
From the time of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, we have sensed more strongly than anyone else how precious the sea, land, water and air are. They give abundant gifts to us. We would like to provide "delicious food for your heart's delight" that is produced or caught with passion and particular care.

Kumamoto Taberu Tsushin
Kumamoto has the richness of the Ariake Sea, the mild climate of Amakusa, the severe cold of Aso and a grassy plain protected for a thousand years. It is rich in food and subsurface water, so many producers live here. By building a thoughtful relationship between producers and consumers, we will hand down a beautiful dietary scene to the next generation.

Nagashima Tairiku Taberu Tsushin
This magazine is neither just for reading nor just for promoting dining pleasure, but also for conveying the grand story on how local products are made and delivering unique local recipes using local fresh ingredients to you. Eating local food is not an end in itself, but the start of forging close ties between you and the great land of Nagashima.

Uonuma Taberu Tsushin
Though this is a production center of rice so delicious it can be enjoyed by itself without side dishes, Uonuma has many kinds of recommendable food other than rice. We intend to build a relationship between the producers and consumers of authentic Koshihikari rice and its side dishes grown in Uonuma. Such a relationship could be forged only in Uonuma.

Minamata Taberu Tsushin
Most people's image of Minamata has remained unchanged since they read about Minamata disease in school textbooks. We want to add another page to that history by conveying news on food ingredients produced by Minamata's people, describing their past and present situations, and relaying what they want to pass down to future generations.

"Messages from High School Students: Fukushima Taberu Tsushin" was an outgrowth of a project to foster the next generation of leaders for reconstruction of the areas impacted by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. The project has been conducted by the Fukushima Solar and Agriculture Experience Association, which also started an open school for senior high school students, colloquially called the "Hangai & Edahiro Juku (school)," taught by Eiju Hangai, its representative director, and Junko Edahiro, a JFS chief executive.

At the school, students have worked hard to develop their conceptual abilities and skills at making presentations and involving people. The passion of one high-school girl has led her to initiate a project

As the title suggests, the students are engaged as an editorial desk in publishing the magazine. They plan the contents, lay out articles, gather information and write manuscripts. The magazine introduces each producer of delicious food ingredients in Fukushima Prefecture with his or her unique philosophy. The magazine is delivered to its subscribers each season, four times a year, with its special food ingredients.

Its inaugural spring issue, published in April 2015, featured giant nameko mushrooms produced by Suzuki Farm in Koriyama. On the cardboard shipping boxes, the editorial staff handwrote a message to each of the readers.

The "Taberu Tsushin" movement is spreading nationwide. Satsuma Taberu Tsushin is scheduled to be launched in November 2015, followed by others in Nara, Izu and Iseshima in December 2015 and one in Yamaguchi in January 2016. We are looking forward to seeing how they develop in the future.

See also:
Fukushima Solar and Agriculture Experience Association to Foster Next Generation of Reconstruction Leaders
Starting from Tohoku: Tohoku Kaikon Aims to Reform Primary Industry through Information Sharing and Communication

Written by Nobuhiro Tanabe, JFS staff writer