Celebrating Ehime Prefecture Products

    Celebrating Ehime Prefecture Products

    By Barbara Mizoguchi
    NAP Editor

    On May 24, the Consul General of Japan Makoto Iyori and his wife, Yuko hosted a reception at their Seattle residence for a group from Ehime Prefecture on Shikoko Island in Japan. The group included special guests — Mr. Fumiaki Okahara, Mayor of Uwajima (city) in Ehime Prefecture; Ms. Eri Sakai, Director of the Mayor’s Office in Uwajima; Mr. Yuhiko Matsuda, Director of Economy and Labor Department for the Ehime Prefectural Government; and Mr. Koji Yoshioka, Industrial Policy Division of the Ehime Prefectural Government. The Ehime delegation was in town to promote their unique food products at the local Uwajimaya stores. Reception guests had the opportunity to taste three kinds of the Mikan orange juices and Sea Bream — a type of fish raised on Mikans resulting in the lack of a fishy odor.

    left to right: Rex Hashimoto, Seattle Uwajimaya Store Manager; Stephanie Choi, Uwajimaya Corporate Office; Uwajima Mayor Okahara; Con. Gen. Iyori; Tomio Moriguchi, former Uwajimaya CEO and current NAP publisher; Mrs. Iyori; and Denise Moriguchi, Uwajimaya CEO.

    Mayor Okahara said that the history of the Moriguchi family (Uwajimaya owners) “plays an important role to the [Uwajima] community.” Matsuda-san mentioned Uwajima has been interacting with the local Uwajimaya stores for several years due to the family-owned business originating from the area. Due to the pandemic, the Ehime group has not been able to return to the U.S. for the past six years. Sakai-san mentioned that Uwajima is located southeast of Shikoku. The city was originally built around a (1596-1601) castle that attracts large numbers of visitors annually. In the summer, it hosts Ushi-Oni Matsuri. This purification festival features a 16-foot-long creature made of palm fibers or red furs. The creature’s goal is to drive out evil spirits by shaking its head at each home visited. Yoshioka-san highlighted some other attractions in Uwajima and the surrounding area. Dogo Onsen is the oldest hot spring in Japan and is a must-visit. Also visit the Matsuyama Castle, Uchiko-za Kabuki Theatre, and the Shimanami Kaido — a bicycle route or walkway across the Seto Inland Sea from Ehime to Honshu prefectures. For additional information, see: visitehimejapan.com/en/.

    “Sabaki Girls” from Uwajima Fisheries High School featured at the Seattle Uwajimaya Food Festival. Getting ready for the cutting of the 158 lbs. bluefin tuna.