The project launched. And the book published. The next action is to involve people who does not know anything about hoshi-imo. Mr.Koizumi says those people hold in hands the future of hoshi-imo.
How hoshi-imo gakko(school) works
At the same time as publishing a book, the project started to plan the functioning system as an organization. After countless discussion, the project started as a LLP(limited Liability Partnership) status.
Until the “hoshi-imo gakko(school)”project launched, there was no grading in the quality of hoshi-imo. The project decided to rank the hoshi-imo into “excellent” and “good” class by standardized criteria. Hoshi-imo sold under the brand name of “hoshi-imo gakko” is only those of “excellent” class to make sure the good quality hoshi-imo reaches out to customers.
Does “hoshi-imo gakko” has a shop? The answer is no. “hoshi-imo gakko” only sells the package with “hoshi-imo gakko” design to individual distributors of hoshi-imo. The profit made by that goes to the budget for operation of “hoshi-imo gakko”LLP.
As we have learned, the objective of this project is not to just sell hoshi-imo. It aims to give a first hook to many people who are unfamiliar with hoshi-imo and to familiarize hoshi-imo to them.
The activity of “hoshi-imo gakko” has just launched. After the publication of the book in September, 2010, they have organized the lecture by Mr.Sato in several venues. They prospect to expand the range of activities to holding seminars, one-day school, recipe competition, hoshi-imo making workshop so on and on. All the activities are organized with the wish of project members and Mr.Sato to spread the word about hoshi-imo.
Originally, the project has started for the people who have never seen or eaten hoshi-imo. Hoshi-imo in the hoshi-imo producing region is known as a nutritious sweet for kids. In Hitachi-Naka, Ibaraki prefecture, where the project started, mothers give kids hoshi-imo as a desert in the afternoon all year long. Also, because of the nutrition, hoshi-imo is provided to the marathon runner as a energy booster during the race.
Seeing dream through hoshi-imo
Though hoshi-imo is loved by all generation in Hitachi-naka, many farmers quit producing hoshi-imo due to the hard work of making them. The project also wishes the young people to see a future through hoshi-imo and join the team to be hoshi-imo producer, too.
It is not easy for the farmers to know how people enjoy hoshi-imo they produced and how much it makes people to smile. “hoshi-imo gakko” hopes to be an opportunity for farmers to learn about the happy experience of customers, too.
Last but not least, “hoshi-imo gakko” hopes to be a source of food education, Mr. Koizumi says. Not only hoshi-imo, but there are many locally grown and consumed food culture in every corner of Japan and the world. “hoshi-imo gakko” hopes to hit the road soon to all over Japan and the world to meet with such a unique local food. (end)