Bringing Akaishi Goyomatsu to the World
For the past 10 years, our chairman, Junichi Moritaka, has been working on screening methods to target wealthy Europeans, making preparations at Akaishi No Izumi, the agricultural production corporation he runs, and exchanging information with local buyers. Then, in 2017, they started exporting to France. That year, we started with about 200 pots and sales of about 3 million yen.
Presentation to the Pope of Rome, Italy
In 2019, we presented two pots of Akaishi Goyomatsu bonsai (one 100 years old and one 150 years old) to Pope Francis at the Vatican City, the headquarters of Christian Catholicism. This was the start of a full-scale export effort.
A community-wide effort
In August 2019, the Akaishi Goyomatsu Export Promotion Association was established as a voluntary organization with the participation of 13 local companies, in order to promote exports as a region-wide effort. Akaishi No Izumi purchased bonsai from the member companies and established a system for exporting bonsai in bulk in containers, making it possible to export large quantities to Europe.
We have felt the growing demand from the many foreign buyers visiting our region. Mr. Moritaka, as the flag bearer of export promotion, has been working to promote Akaishi Goyomatsu to the rest of the world, not only by waiting, but also by actively promoting it.
Building a bonsai shelf space in Austria
In cooperation with a local business, we will open a bonsai shelf in the Bonsai Museum in Seeboden, Austria, in January 2021. It will also allow us to respond quickly to demand in Europe, and we expect to increase our export volume. The plan is to send 500 pots of Akaishi Goyomatsu to the EU shelves every year.
The European view of bonsai is correct and they give a fair evaluation of quality. As the number of bonsai enthusiasts in Europe has increased due to the bonsai boom, more discerning people have accepted the high quality Japanese brand of Akaishi Goyomatsu. We will continue our efforts to promote Akaishi Goyomatsu as a global brand and to revive the once bustling production area.