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Feature:Efforts for Biodiversity Conservation

Feature:Efforts for Biodiversity Conservation

Since 2012, we have incorporated biodiversity conservation activities into our environmental management system (EMS) activities, and we have been actively taking risk reduction action, based on the results of biodiversity risk surveys at each of our business sites in Japan. Also, since 2016, we have been prioritizing biodiversity conservation activities, and we have protected the genes of vanishing vegetables and have maintained the genetic diversity by working on the revival of "Naniwa's Traditional Vegetables" (which are currently less common at stores).

On the other hand, as one of our social contribution activities, we have been working on several biodiversity conservation activities such as "Removal of Non-native Species at Lake Biwa" and "Conservation Activity of Coppice for Zephyrus in Mt.Mikusa".
*We and Kyocera have registered with "Nijyu-maru Project", which is a Japanese committee for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN-J) and manages this project.

For more details on "Nijyu-maru Project", please refer to the following webpage:

Cultivation of "Naniwa's Traditional Vegetables"

Called "The Nation's Kitchen" during the Edo Period, Osaka Prefecture has had a rich food culture since ancient times, and there have been many kinds of prefecture's unique vegetables supporting the culture. However, after World War II, by breed improvement for the purpose of increasing agricultural productivity, conversion from farmlands to residential lands, and, further, the progression of the western diet, these vegetables, which have this region's unique history and tradition, had disappeared from the store shelves. But, in recent years, as the demand for these traditional vegetables has surfaced, Osaka Prefecture worked on the discovery and revival of "Naniwa's Traditional Vegetables" so that people can enjoy traditional vegetables, once again. Currently, 18 vegetables, including "Tamatsukuri Kuromon Oriental Pickling Melon", "Torikai Eggplant", "Moriguchi Raddish" and "Tennoji Turnip", are accredited as "Naniwa's Traditional Vegetables" by Osaka Prefecture. We have worked on the preservation of vanishing valued genes by cultivating four of them on the premises of our Head Office.

"Tamatsukuri Kuromon Oriental Pickling Melon", which is the first "Naniwa's Traditional Vegetable" we worked on the cultivation, was cultivated in the area near the Tamatsukuri-mon Gate (popularly called "Kuromon" or the "black gate," because this gate was originally painted black) of Osaka Castle, where currently, the main gate of our Head Office is located. In the Edo Period, the seasoning of this oriental pickling melon in salted rice bran (nukazuke) became one of the specialties of this region. Since the Meiji Period, this oriental pickling melon, used as the food of which travelers could eat on the way to the Ise Shrine as a pilgrimage, had disappeared, due to the wave of modernization. But, after a long period, Tamatsukuri Inari Shrine started cultivating this oriental pickling melon from 2002, and its cultivation spread little by little, dependent upon the amount of available seeds. Since 2016, we have carefully cultivated it on the premises of our Head Office, with the support of Tamatsukuri Inari Shrine. At the summer festival held at our Head Office in July every year, this traditional local vegetable, which is lightly pickled, has been served to the visitors.

Also, from September 2017, we started cultivating "Tennoji Turnip" and "Tanabe Radish". These vegetables acquire their sweetness by growing in cold climates and were harvested in January 2018. They were used in turnip miso soup, served at our Head Office's staff cafeteria. In addition, since April 2018, we have been cultivating "Kotsuma pumpkin". After its harvest, this pumpkin will be provided to the vocational aid center, which holds internal company sales at our Head Office every two months, then used in the baking of cookies and pumpkin bread.
Because there are less farmlands due to urbanization, we think that, as a company whose Head Office is located in Osaka city, protecting and nurturing the genes of local traditional vegetables in the heart of the city is important.
Under our management philosophy, "LIVING TOGETHER", we will continue to work on biodiversity conservation activities in various ways.

If you want to see the efforts of Osaka Prefecture about "Naniwa's Traditional Vegetables", please refer to the following webpage:

● We are cultivating the following four "Naniwa's Traditional Vegetables".

Cultivation during summer period (From April to August)

Tamatsukuri Kuromon Oriental Pickling Melon
Tamatsukuri Kuromon Oriental
Pickling Melon

Kotsuma Pumpkin
Kotsuma Pumpkin

"Tamatsukuri Kuromon Oriental Pickling Melon"
The area near the Tamatsukuri-mon Gate (popularly called "Kuromon" or the "black gate" ) of Osaka Castle is the place of origin. This is the cylinder-shaped melon with about 30 centimeters in length and 10 centimeters in diameter.
"Kotsuma Pumpkin"
The place of origin is Tamade Town, Nishinari Ward (Former Kotsuma Village). This is a kind of cucurbita moschata whose weight is a little less than 1 kilogram.
Cultivation during winter period (From September to March)

Tennoji Turnip
Tennoji Turnip

Tanabe Radish
Tanabe Radish

"Tennoji Turnip"
The place of origin is near Tennoji Ward. This is an oblate-shaped small turnip with 8 centimeters in diameter.
"Tanabe Radish"
This was formerly a special local product of Tanabe Distinct, Higashi-Sumiyoshi Ward. This is a stubby radish with about 20 centimeters in length and 9 centimeters in diameter.

● The followings are the photos which record the cultivation and the harvest of Tamatsukuri Kuromon Oriental Pickling Melon in June and July 2017.

Piling soil up around the base of a plant in June 2017
Piling soil up around the
base of a plant in June 2017

Planting seedlings in June 2017
Planting seedlings
in June 2017

Male flowers were starting to blossom in July 2017
Male flowers were starting to blossom in July 2017

Field just before the harvest in July 2017
Field just before the harvest
in July 2017

First harvest in July 2017
First harvest in July 2017

Tasting corner for lightly-pickled Tamatsukuri Kuromon Oriental Pickling Melon at summer festival in July 2017
Tasting corner for lightly-
pickled Tamatsukuri
Kuromon Oriental Pickling
Melon at summer festival
in July 2017

Comment by Employees Volunteer for the Cultivation

Comment by Employees Volunteer for the Cultivation

Nowadays, it is said that diversity is considered important, but the vegetables which we habitually eat are bred for good appearance and easy mass production and are being rapidly standardized. On the other hand, production efficiency of traditional vegetables is not good because of their irregular shape and slow growth, but they have valuable genes.
As a member of the community, we will protect and nurture the genes of local traditional vegetables and pass them on to future generations, remembering the history and culture of this place.

Comment by Mr. Nobuhiro Suzuki, chief priest of Tamatsukuri Inari Shrine,
where Tamatsukuri Kuromon Oriental Pickling Melon revives

Tamatsukuri Inari Shrine
Tamatsukuri Inari Shrine

"Tamatsukuri Kuromon Oriental Pickling Melon" was once cultivated in the area near the Tamatsukuri-mon Gate in the Edo Period and became one of specialties of Naniwa (An ancient name for Osaka) because of its high quality.
This oriental pickling melon, cultivated on the premises of the Head Office of Kyocera Document Solutions, which is located diagonally opposite of the place where Tamatsukuri-mon Gate once stood, seems like a time capsule over two hundred years.
I hope that people will think about the time when this area was crowded by people walking through this gate, talk about its growth and enjoy the flavor of this highly nutritious oriental pickling melon in the future.

Other Biodiversity Preservation Activities

Removal of Non-native Species at Lake Biwa

In Shiga Prefecture, since 2011, we have been removing non-native fish species from Lake Biwa (the largest freshwater lake in Japan), which have a serious negative impact on the ecosystem in the lake, such as black bass and bluegill. Lake Biwa is an important habitat for freshwater fish. But, in spite of promoting this removal activity, the non-native species population has increased year by year and is currently estimated to be about 1,240 tons*. Another noteworthy activity which has been conducted is the cleanup of the nearby Otsu City Nagisa Park.

*Based on the data published by Shiga Prefectural Government's Fisheries Department

Employees participating in removal activity
Employees participating in
removal activity
Clean-up activity at Otsu City Nagisa Park
Clean-up activity at Otsu City Nagisa Park

Conservation Activity of Coppice for Zephyrus in Mt.Mikusa

Since 2010, we have conducted a conservation activity of "Coppice for Zephyrus in Mt.Mikusa" located in Nose Town, which is the northernmost town of Osaka Prefecture.
Mt.Mikusa is a low mountain, which is 564 meters above sea level. Coppice for Zephyrus, a broad-leaved forest spreading around the summit of Mt.Mikusa and a habitat for wild animals and plants, is home to 10 of 25 species of butterflies called Zephyrus, a rare species living in Japan and belonging to Theclinae. This area is designated as the Green Environment Conservation Area based on the Osaka Prefectural Ordinance for the Conservation of the Natural Environment. Part of that natural environment is Satoyama (a mountain closely connected to the people's life in a rural area), which environment is well preserved and was chosen as one of the "Top 100 Terraced Paddy Fields in Japan".
The conservation activities consist of planting seedlings of oriental white oak, manchurian mlder and privet (which are food for the larvae of butterflies) and installing fencing for preventing the deer from eating the trees. In the last three years, 185 seedlings have been planted, and fencing has been installed surrounding 0.38 hectares of land.

Planting Seedlings of Oriental White Oak
Planting Seedlings of Oriental White Oak
Installing Fence for Preventing Deer
Installing Fencing for Preventing Deer

Clean-up Activity at Matsunase Tideland Beach

Annually, as a regional contribution activity, the Tamaki Plant conducts a voluntary clean-up activity at Matsunase Tideland Beach on the Kushida River, located in Matsuzaka City, Mie Prefecture. Matsunase Tideland Beach (one of the biggest dry beaches in the Ise bay area, consisting of three kinds of tidelands) is valuable, since it contains rich ecosystems in which several beach plants and aquatic organisms live. After giving an explanation about such things as the creatures living in the tideland by the teacher of Mie Junior High School (who is also the local NPO's instructor of nature observation), everyone participates in the collection of garbage scattered across the beach.

Participants of the Clean-up Activity
Participants of the Clean-up Activity
Participants Cleaning the Beach
Participants Cleaning the Beach

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