Commendation Ceremony of the 103rd Japan Agricultural Achievement Awards

Consul General Akira Muto hosted the commendation ceremony of the Agricultural Society of Japan's 103rd Agricultural Achievement Awards for Mr. Kazuhiko Nakanishi and Mr. Katsumi Shigeta at the Consul General's Official Residence on Tuesday, 10 December 2019. 

Details below:

Commendation Ceremony of the Japan Agricultural Achievement Awards

(1) Biography and Reasons for Commendation

Mr. Nakanishi has been engaged in gardening more than 50 years since he started in this profession with his uncle. In recent years, he has been caring for gardens of all sizes – from private homes to large public parks. For the past few years, Mr. Nakanishi has been working as a volunteer for the maintenance of the Japanese garden in the City of Glendale, known as the "Shoseian and Japanese Friendship Garden", and in 2017 when The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism dispatched Japanese landscape gardeners to restore the garden under the Japanese Gardens Restoration Project, he was actively involved in the coordination and interpretation work between the Japanese team and local gardeners. Mr. Nakanishi was awarded commendations by Mayor Vartan Gharpetian as one of the members responsible for its renovations. Mayor Gharpetian said they worked very hard to make the landmark a much better place.

Mr. Shigeta works for Hokuto Kinoko Company and the business has expanded considerably since Mr. Shigeta became president of the company in 2008. Mr. Shigeta succeeded in getting organic certification from the USDA for 4 types of mushrooms in 2009. Organic certified mushrooms were very rare at that time, so the market for their mushrooms expanded to the entire USA and Canada. Since them, their mushrooms acquired HACCP and SQF, that was known as the certification of food safety and security .Nowadays, familiar Japanese mushrooms like Bunashimeji from Hokuto Kinoko are accepted not only in the Japanese market, but also by American customers.

(2) The Agricultural Society of Japan's Commendation Ceremony 

Mr. Nakanishi and Mr. Shigeta's commendation ceremony was held at the Consul General's Official Residence from 2:00 pm, December 10, 2019, with the participation of family members, friends and colleagues. Consul General Akira Muto offered congratulations, and presented the certificate of commendation and the ribbon of the Green-White Achievement Award to them. Congratulatory remarks were delivered by Mr. Kaoru Kawata, President of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Southern California, Mr. Michael Belzer, President of the Friends of Shoseian (an organization to maintain and preserve "Shoseian and Japanese Friendship Garden"), Mr. Happy Mizutani, President of the Japanese Prefectures Association of Southern California, and Mr. Shinkichi Koyama, President of the Agricultural Society of Japan (Dai Nihon Nokai), Southern California Branch; and honored both of their achievements.  

Thereupon, Mr. Nakanishi expressed his gratitude to his guests, and indicated that he will continue to work for the development of the U.S.-Japan friendship. And also, Mr. Shigeta gave thanks to his guests, and expressed his willingness to improve further the quality of his products.

Mr. Akemi Miyake, President Emeritus of the Orange County Japanese American Association, offered a toast, and then a reception followed.

Commendation (Left: Mr. Nakanishi, Right: Mr. Shigeta)       Remarks by Mr. Nakanishi
Remarks by Mr. Shigeta
  Group photo in front of the Japanese garden
donated by the Agricultural Society of Japan