Coffee Break

Looking back upon Region Activities
- Council of the Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu -

JIPA operates mainly in Tokyo and Osaka but holds meetings in various regional cities in Japan.
2014”Ēs 2nd meeting of the Region Council was held in November 28, 2014 at TADANO Ltd., a manufacturer based in Sanuki, near Takamatsu city, Kagawa Prefecture.
Takamatsu is located in Shikoku across the Inland Sea, but now that the Seto-ohashi Bridge has been opened, it is 1.5-hour”Ēs train ride from Hiroshima, 2 hours from Osaka. It can be reached by air within 1 hour, even from Tokyo.

In Japan, Kagawa Prefecture is probably best known for its Sanuki udon (thick white noodles made from wheat flour, salt, and water). According to Nikkei Research Inc., Sanuki udon has ranked first among the local brands many times, and as such, it is extremely well known nationwide. That is why there are many imitations of it.
According to statistics of the prefectural government, Kagawa is known as a prefecture of udon because there are 1,100 udon manufacturers, including udon restaurants and noodle-making factories, in the prefecture, and the amount of udon consumed reaches 230 balls per prefectural resident. Thus udon completely permeates the daily lives of prefectural residents.
The udon from the Gennai udon restaurant, which the Council members sampled before the meeting, is excellent.

As the udon restaurant”Ēs name suggests, Gennai Hiraga, the king of invention who lived during the Edo period (1603-1867), was born in Sanuki. The inventor was so gifted that he is called Japan”Ēs answer to Leonardo da Vinci. He studied Western sciences by means of the Dutch language, and was a doctor, haiku poet, oil painter, and playwright.
He invented many things, such as static electricity generators, asbestos, thermometers, pedometers, and compasses. Based on his studies on nutrition, he proposed that people should eat eel on the midsummer day of the Ox (which falls between July 20 to August 7 each year) in order to prevent summer fatigue, and it is said that about that time, Japanese picked up the custom of eating eel in the height of summer.
The Council members felt as if Gennai Hiraga had led the Council to hold a meeting in Shido.

TADANO has its head office in Gennai”Ēs birthplace and leads the world in the manufacture of cranes, with a 46% market share in Japan.
At first, I assumed that TADANO was a member of JIPA and approached the company to host a JIPA Region Council meeting, but in fact, it was not. I immediately invited the company to join JIPA and at the same time asked it to host the meeting, which had originally been scheduled to be held in Takamatsu, at its head office. TADANO, which understands the importance of initiatives to promote intellectual property, readily accepted my request.
As described above, it is unusual that JIPA asks a company to join the Association as its member and to host a JIPA Council meeting at the same time. This is a good example of JIPA”Ēs activities being understood well among Japanese companies.

  • "Udon" (image)
  • Rough Terrain Cranes

Hidemasa Okazaki
Head of the Kansai Office

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