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“Leaf business” in Kamikatsu Town in Tokushima Prefecture is developed overseas―People’s interest in washoku serves as a tailwind

   “Irodori” (in Kamikatsu Town, Tokushima Prefecture), a venture business that sells tsumamono (garnishes and decorative elements) to be added to dishes, has launched the development of its overseas markets. Since the food culture of washoku, traditional Japanese cuisine, was registered on the World Heritage list in December 2013, people in foreign countries have become increasingly interested in traditional Japanese cuisine. Using this trend as a tailwind, the venture business will make an effort to increase its sales by boosting potential demand in overseas markets.
   Tsumamono are seasonal leaves, flowers, and mountain vegetables intended to beautifully decorate Japanese traditional cuisine, and to calm the minds of people who regard those elements  as seasonal messages. Since tsumamono is drawing greater attention in overseas countries with the registration of washoku on the Intangible Cultural Heritage list, the venture business has begun delivering tsumamono to markets, hotels, and restaurants in Europe through Japanese importers in France.
   Located about 1 hour by car from the central part of Tokushima City, Kamikatsu, a town with an aging and decreasing population has approximately 1,800 residents, and the aging ratio is about 50%. The town was originally developed as a production center of lumber and tangerines, but was severely hit by the decline in the timber market and abnormal weather. Since tangerine cultivation requires hard labor, the number of production farmhouses is decreasing as the population ages.
   The tsumamono business (leaf business) was launched in 1986 as a business capable of restoring the regional economy, and allowing the elderly, who account for nearly half the population of the town, to play an active role. Currently the company has more than 320 types of tsumamono, and ships various types of leaves throughout the year. The company’s sales in fiscal 2013 were approximately 223,000,000 yen.
   Tomoji Yokoishi, who originally started the “Leaf Business” and currently serves as the company’s president said, “With the focus it places on aesthetic appearance, French cuisine has much in common with traditional Japanese cuisine. We would like to make the development of our overseas business a success.”
Traditional Japanese cuisine beautifully decorated with green maple leaves
Producer checking information by operating a tablet terminal Provided by Irodori
Contact : Irodori Co., Ltd.
Phone or E-mail +81-885-46-0166
Website http://www.irodori.co.jp/