5th Island Meeting Held on Kozushima
“Island Assembly” is a place where business/industry members and concerned citizens about the islands’ prosperity get together. They discuss branding these islands beyond their field of expertise. On February 13, 2019, the Assembly was held in the meeting room at Machare Center within Maehama Port’s Waiting Station on Kozushima. Eight members attended.
First, a review on the Second Treasure Island Assembly held in Tokyo took place. Words from guest advisors regarding Kozushima’s presentation were shared with those who had not been in the Second Treasure Island Assembly. After considering and discussing these advices, the attendees agreed to reset the persona as “those, who are already familiar with the Japanese culture, living in Tokyo and working for foreign-funded businesses and embassies” and to put “water” at the heart of Kozushima concept and explore final action plans.
Among ideas from the attendees, many experience plans involved “eating”. They shared helpful examples such as Mizu-Shingen-Mochi by Kinseiken from Yamanashi Prefecture, known as an “eat-water”Japanese dessert. This Raindrop Cake is made of the water from Japanese Southern Alps and agar with a short expiration time of 30 minutes - it must be eaten right there, a sensational item destined to be sold out. Attendees were excited to discuss making similar product with Kozushima’s water and agar. A unique restaurant menu was also suggested, “Kozu Water Combo,” a dish that relates to water.
And ideas that value experiences were proposed - a guidebook for exploring the “island’s water spots” such as locally-produced sake, spring water and fish from Tako Bay, or creating a “water trail map” that visitors from other countries can use to ask directions by just pointing at marks. The guidebook offers information such as the locations of springs and times and places to meet fishermen. It also aims to assist visitors who happened on the island to freely tour around by providing leisure spots such as hot springs.
After the facilitator summed up various ideas and more opinions were exchanged, a new action plan was born: “An arranged tour that a participant can freely choose from the water-experience menu, such as fishing, nature, eating, water, or mythology.” To consider specific approaches, two main action plans were set: “Design a tour with red fish as a theme,”and “Create a map to assist choosing experiences.” Attendees will be divided into two teams - tour and map - and brush up ideas into more concrete contents.
The map team proposed a booklet “How to Walk Kozushima.” It introduces an experience-tour and features the Island’s traditional manners for visitors to follow in consideration to the islanders afraid of interactions with people from other countries. The booklet also has some stories about water. There was an threesome idea to distribute a poster and a map to each inn and give islanders “Poke Talk, ”a voice interpreter, to encourage communication. As for compiling mythologies and translating billboards into English, they need more discussion. They were shared as homework.
The tour team wanted to think of a system that allows a customization depending on the needs of the participant, season, and weather. “It takes a lot of preparation to have a tour with cleaning and filleting fish or providing food. We will consider only what’s manageable. Fishing experience can be done not only with red fish, but also with moray eel, crab, and lobster throughout the year. Streaming videos, adding a column on the map, and having conversations will help share our traditions,” they said.
Our sharing concluded with the two action plans: the map for communicating Kozushima’s water culture and the tour related to water.