2013.11.08 Sasa Tomo
Ten local products in Ishigaki Island to be redesigned:Creative Commons,Some Rights Reserved,Photo by USIO Design Project
USHIO Design Project began its call for redesigns for ten selected local products of Ishigaki Island, Okinawa on October 23, 2013. This is part of a project with aims to spread the attractions of the culture of Ishigaki and Yaeyama Islands and to revitalize the local community through specialties including processed foods, crafts, and farm and marine products. The project is hosted by Ishigaki City and sponsored by Loftwork Inc., a company in Tokyo that provides creative services.
Based in three locations, Ishigaki, Tokyo and Taipei (Taiwan) which have maintained cultural exchanges since ancient times, the project was named "USHIO" to "invite people to the island like the tides of the ocean, and create a rich mix of cultures that come together like mingling ocean currents." Now, USHIO Design Project is looking for designs for ten items for open competition on the web site which have been selected from among 46 items entered for redesigning by local makers or producers.
The targeted items are; Ishigaki Salt of Ishigaki no Shio Co., Ltd., Ryukyu Awamori Liquor Gekkou of Seifuku Distillery Co., Ltd., Ishigaki Island Pineapples of JA Okinawa JA Farmers' Market Yaeyama Yuratiku Market, Mother's Andansu Miso Paste of Odomari Shokuhin, Real-deal Tuna Flakes of Yaeyama Fisheries Coop, Brown Rice Milk of Yaeyama Bussan Hachitokuya, Island Herbal Tea of Shiraho Sunday Markets Organizing Association, Brown Sugar Ginger Syrup of Hawaiian Grotto, Purple sweet potato pie of Yaeyama Nanpudo, and Hanaori Minsa woven goods of Mineya Koubou.
These items vary widely, from commodities used by the islanders for many years to products commercialized from materials considered as of low commercial value. For example, Island Herbal Tea in four flavors, made from Getto*1, guava, wormwood and Ooitabikazura*2 picked from village gardens or vacant lots. Mother's Andansu Miso Pate, a staple of table in Okinawa, is made of rice miso paste of Ishigaki and the fat of fried pork. Its traditional recipe has been passed down from ancestors and has adhered to the traditional taste. Real-deal Tuna Flakes is made of albacore tuna that often remain unsold because of a low auction price. This product is used in school lunches for local kindergartens.
*1: Alpinia speciosa K. Schum
*2 :Ficus pumila L.
The deadline for designs is 9 December, 2013 and everybody can enter. Stories about each item, about the abundant gifts from the islands, and the creativity and originality of the producers, etc. on the website, will provide useful information for designers. All entries will be juried based on originality, simplicity with a feel for Ishigaki and the possibility of their being long-selling products. With the chosen designs, those items will be promoted beginning in April 2014 and publicized as new local brands though the website, etc. We are now looking forward to seeing creative and original designs that can reintroduce the public to the attractions of Ishigaki Island.