Gyoza is a type of dumpling traditionally stuffed with minced meat or seafood. TMN’s program established a kitchen-workshop and office to develop and retail traditional and new dumpling products in the town of Otsuchi, which was badly damaged by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
The facility, styled the Sanriku Gyoza Workshop, is located close to temporary accommodation in the town, and forms an important part of the area’s wider regeneration.
Through this program, the Gyoza Workshop drew in first the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sector (who provide inputs for the gyoza, and packaging materials). Second, it involved the manufacturing sector (through the manufacture of the dumplings and packaging); and third, the service sector (through the distribution and retailing of end products). In addition to the direct economic benefits, this project also aimed specifically to provide employment opportunities for local persons with disabilities.
Finally, the project promoted awareness of the continuing plight of those whose livelihoods were destroyed by the March 2011 disaster. It achieved this by looking to novel retail channels, including Internet sales to a wider public.
For example, partner TMN is selling the workshop’s products through an online ‘Recovery Marketplace’ designed to promote merchandises from disaster-affected communities on a nationwide basis.