1st Island Meeting Held on Hahajima
The starry sky at Hahajima
The Tokyo Treasure Islands Project is a project which aims to add value to the Tokyo'sislands and polish their brands through "Shima-Kaigi" (Island Meetings) with residents. This report covers the first island meeting held on June 10 in Hahajima.
An abundance of nature and food culture, simplicity that your phone has no service. The attractiveness of Hahajima from the eyes of the residents.
The Hahajima island meeting was held jointly with Chichijima. The venues at both Chichijima and Hahajima were connected through the internet to host the meeting. The residents of the island are busy every day. At the beginning of the meeting, the facilitator shared the positioning of this meeting as an opportunity to spread ideas and to provide a venue for the busy islanders to gather and talk.
First, in order to break the ice, each of the participants were given one minute to show off something small so that the discussions would begin in a relaxed atmosphere.
The first theme is Hahajima's treasures.
The participants wrote their ideas on sticky notes. The items were then classified using how well they are known and how limited they are to the island.
The culture and history such as the Nanyo dance and the remains of World War II battles, the nature including the starry skies at night and dolphins, as well as the local food including sea turtle cuisine and rum matured on the seabed were some of the ideas. Other ideas included the fact that there is no cellular service outside of the village and it takes 26 hours to get from Tokyo to the island, which is enough to go to the other side of the Earth. These severe geographical conditions were also listed as part of Hahajima's uniqueness, finally completing the big paper with what makes Hahajima special.
Searching who to appeal to through exchanging opinions
The second theme was a two-pronged approach of which points get engagements from fans, and which generation/gender is most likely to be a fan of those points.
Locally grown fruits and vegetables such as passionfruit, mangoes, and cherry tomatoes are most likely to grab the attention of single women aged 30~40 who love eating, and the low crime rate resonated with families in their 20's who are looking to find a place to settle and raise their children in a safe environment.
Lastly, three important "treasures" of the island were selected from the contents that were discussed up to that point.
The three chosen are: the starry nights that appeal to those with strong intellectual interests and curiosity, Kofuji, an easily accessible area where you can bring your family and observe wildlife including Bonin honeyeaters and whales, and the products that can only be grown on the island, including the cherry tomatoes in winter, the mangoes in summer, and the lemons in autumn. The results show once again how abundant the nature on Hahajima is.
Making the residents of Hahajima aware of the island's potential through the island meetings
In the first island meeting, lively discussions were held in a relaxed atmosphere. Masashi Miyagi who participated in the meeting said and hoped for the future that, "My personal goal is to make the residents of the island be aware of the island's potential. If the quality within the island gets better, then the information that is shared changes, hence changing the people that react."
The island meetings will be continued to be hold effectively to post information on Hahajima's attractive content for the future fans of the island.