Jiroya

Put your feelings for the island in "Nori"
Disseminating the charm of Setouchi both domestically and internationally

2021.7.14

I want to spread the charm of the seaweed and the island in Setouchi

Even in Setouchi Leading seaweed producing area Okayama prefecture known as.

for example Currently, cultivation is flourishing in the islands off the coast of Kasaoka City from Ushimado Town, Setouchi City in the eastern part of Okayama Prefecture, through the estuaries of the Yoshii and Asahi Rivers in Okayama City, and the estuary of the Takahashi River in Kurashiki City. ..

In 2015, a man aims to revive the seaweed farming industry on the island where he was born and raised, and to revive the island by disseminating the charm of Okayama Prefecture's seaweed made in the nutritious sea both domestically and internationally. There is a seaweed brand that has started. That is "Jiroya".

From childhood Nori cultivation that was familiar to us

Jiro Imoto, who runs Jiroya, was born and raised in Manabe Island, Okayama Prefecture. Among the islands of the Kasaoka Islands in the center of the Seto Inland Sea, it is one of the manned islands where about 180 to 200 people live, and it is known as a fishing village rich in nature.

Mr. Imoto recalls that because of the small population of a small island, "all the islanders grew up in a family-like atmosphere and were kindly watched over."

Mr. Imoto's parents' home From my grandfather's generation, nori cultivation / manufacturing and fishing I have been running "Imoto Fisheries". About 50 years ago, seaweed cultivation was popular throughout Manabe Island, and about 30 to 40 houses jointly operated a total of 15 seaweed factories.

Mr. Imoto said that he helped cultivate seaweed from the moment he got the hang of it, and when he was a high school student, he went out to the sea almost alone. At that time, he was planning to become a fisherman in the future and take over the seaweed farming of his family business.

Nori is usually cultivated for about half a year, from seeding in October to cleaning up in March. There are two types of aquaculture, floating aquaculture and prop culture, and floating aquaculture is the basic method on an island without shallow water, such as Mr. Imoto's parents' home.

Mr. Imoto talks about the appeal of seaweed farming.

Working on board a ship swaying in the waves, depending on the weather, is always side by side with danger. But that's why adrenaline comes out and you can feel the utmost fulfillment.

However, due to the shortage of personnel and water quality, it became difficult to cultivate seaweed, and Imoto Fisheries also completed the cultivation of seaweed in 2006. Nori cultivation is no longer carried out on Manabe Island It is said that the people of the island started to do other fishing jobs or left the island to work on the mainland.

Local Manabe Island Put your thoughts on "Jiroya"

After graduating, Mr. Imoto also left his hometown of Manabe Island and got a job in Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture. However, even though he lived in a different job from seaweed farming, he said, "In the future, I will return to Manabe Island and again. I want to revive the seaweed industry on the island It is said that he had a strong feeling for his hometown.

Although Imoto's parents' home, Imoto Fisheries, has stopped cultivating seaweed, it has continued to sell seasoned seaweed for home use. There are many opportunities to be asked "Is there any seaweed for gifts?", And Mr. Imoto launched "Jiroya" from the idea of "I want the younger generation to become familiar with seaweed."

"Jiro" in "Jiroya" is the name under Mr. Imoto. After receiving the advice of my wife, "Because you make it, it's better to have a brand name that is easy to understand," I named my favorite name that my grandfather gave me.

Jiroya Jiro Imoto

It took about two years from the concept of commercialization to the sale because he started "Jiroya" while continuing to work as a salaryman. Even now, while working for a company, I spend most of my time after work and on holidays. It seems to be especially busy during the mid-year and year-end gifts.

Valuing the "people" involved

The most important thing for Mr. Imoto is "people." In addition to delivering high-quality seaweed, Mr. Imoto values all the people involved, including customers, people who cooperate, family and friends around him.

There are many encounters and valuable experiences with people from a wide variety of professions that cannot be met on weekday work, and it is said that Jiroya's efforts have led to his own growth.

Mr. Imoto has been enjoying himself from the start of the brand to the present without feeling any pain even in his busy days. It seems that the driving force is two pure feelings, "I like seaweed" and "I want customers to be happy".

Starting in 2015, the name has gradually increased, and the number of fans who make regular purchases has increased.

Through the activities of "Jiroya", which will continue to provide delicious seaweed that we are particular about. Manabe Island, my hometown, regains its vitality Aiming for the future Disseminating seaweed from Okayama prefecture both domestically and internationally Mr. Imoto wants to do it.

The seaweed delivered by Jiro of "Jiroya" contains the feelings for Manabe Island where he was born and raised.