green drinks KANAYA

Kanaya, Chiba, Japan

CITY BRANDING  EVENT ORGANISE

This initial project - green drinks KANAYA (gdK) is an event organisation held in over 800 cities around the world,

including New York, Beijing and Argentina. The organisation talks about sustainable themes and local thinking.

The purpose of gdK (green drinks KANAYA) is to explore the town by organising events and workshops,

which relate to the culture of the city.

gdK consists of three key attempts to invite audiences to explore the city,

communicating with locals and visitors, and to experiment with the collaborator (lecturer).

The project is running with various lecturers. This is an initial opportunity for participants to consider the local culture.

Before KANAYA BASE opened, we started this project. Participants could experience/get to know the culture, link to others by sharing food/drink, and create objects for recreating the city.

Events were planned with the collaborator, which related to the resources of the town.

Participants were invited from different cities. They could experience the natural environment, local dishes, and culture of the town.

Ehou-maki workshop

We held this workshop with elderly female lecturers who lived there. Although it is traditional Japanese food, many young generations don’t know how to cook it. At the event, we used local ingredients for cooking. The food became a trigger for having conversations with the participants.

Insight:

The visitors had a great interest in the regional food and its location. Since then, the number of people coming back has gradually increased. Many younger generations from the suburbs struggled to find a rapport with the older ones. We tried to get rid of this barrier and bridge the gap between them.

Planting the cherry blossom, for 2 years later

In HANAMI, people meet up under the cherry blossom for drinking and celebrating the arrival of spring. It’s a traditional communication space in Japan. That said, there were no the trees in Kanaya. We planted nursery trees with locals for a reunion celebration, two years later. After planting the trees, participants wrote down their aspirations for the next two years on a board.

Insight:

They talked a lot during the workshop. "Let's see you again when it will be blossoming."It gave them the same goals for the nearby future. Tools beyond the time period got participants involved in the project for a long time.

Opening a temporary cinema in a small town

Two cinemas used to run in Kanaya a long time ago. We tried to recreate it for the locals, allowing them to share their memories and knowledge. We broadcasted two types of films: one was films from the 60's (where locals would have been in their twenties then), the second type was about life in modern day Tibet. We invited the film director Mr. Shiroshima, he spoke about the Tibet film and the importance of mini cinema.

Insight:

Film can be a beneficial, connecting tool with different generations. Popular with locals, young and old, it can allow for a smooth communicative transition. In this event, participants talked about grass roots of the city. Some ideas began to pop up then. They could also contrast the situation between their daily lives and the world.

Camping and cooking horse mackerel

Horse mackerel is a specialty food in the town. We collaborated with an older woman who lived in the town. During the day, visitors learnt the roots of the food culture and cooking methods (some of them were secret recipes). We handed in a small recipe to participants, so that they had their own personal souvenirs.

Insight:

Taste is a significant human function that can trigger various different memories. When "place", "ingredient", "cook" and "conversation" are combined, the audiences keep strong memories in their mind. In fact, some visitors have come back again, eating these dishes at this location.

Collaborating with a wide range of backgrounds and long life communication tools are key points for community engagement.

As experienced in these events, I realised two important factors for local projects: The first was collaboration skills. In urban cities, we always have a myriad of choices. It is both efficient and convenient when we try to create anything. On the other hand, in suburbs, there are fascinating resources such as food culture, craftsmanship, history and customs. There are no subdivided systems like there are in the big industry markets. Collaboration skills become a more necessary skill with countryside projects because we need help, sharing knowledge and different abilities to achieve a project.

The second factor was the design tools, the approach. Taking into consideration its history, how it looks now and how it will look in the future. To make a long lasting design, a communication tool, which can transcend across the time period, is beneficial to convey the story. It can be a bridge from the past to the future. We have got to discover the tool.

Project member

Naoto Nishida, Kenta Ooe, Ai Kaneko, Azusa Yamamoto, Takehiko Yanase, Takayuki Ishii, Ryo Ogawa, Syou Takeuchi, Shinji Fujita, Yuka Yokoi, Rui Takahashi

Collaborators

Older residents in Kanaya, CASA PROJECT HOUKO Inoue, maruemu candle Manami Katayanagi, green drinks Kashiwa, green drinks Matsudo,

ACRO YOGA JAPAN Risa Nishiura, Film director Haruhiko Shiroshima, fujinodenryoku Shuntaro Suzuki, greenz Akira Tsukakoshi,

Chiharuh Hatakeyama, Kooichi Shida, Ferment designer Hiraku Ogura, sotokoto (order of collaboration)

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