[re:new tohoku] Chaco

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  2. When choosing charcoal, many people in England might be happy if it lights up well and stays hot long enough to get a barbecue done. It is fair to say Chaco sets a higher standard. They use meticulously produced, high-quality charcoal to make a fascinating range of products.

    Not only does Chaco use timeless methods, but the charcoal itself has a virtually timeless shelf life -- keep these products for a month before using them, or a hundred years. Discover the traditional yet surprising ways charcoal can be used.

    Iwate Prefecture in northeast Japan has been Japan’s top charcoal-producing area for many years, but the highest quality ""white"" charcoal in Japan originates in Wakayama Prefecture in western Japan, and it’s called binchotan. Many of Chaco’s products make use of this premium product.

    The process of making both black (soft) and white (hard) charcoal is identical up to a certain point, but beyond that point a deft adjustment of factors including air and temperature results in white charcoal, which is easily recognised by a whitish sheen, and by a metallic click when two pieces of it are struck together.

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  3. The man behind Chaco’s meticulous standards is Tadao Chiba.

    Give him a chance and Chiba will whip out the large board he keeps in his office especially for those occasions when another neophyte needs to learn the key facts of charcoal. For starters, remember that real charcoal is not always black (soft), and that in fact the best charcoal is “white” (hard charcoal).

    When Chiba got into the charcoal business, he was looking for a way to revive charcoal’s fortunes in a market where its value as a fuel was being swiftly undermined by alternatives like gas and oil.

    One big opportunity came Chiba’s way in the form of a disastrous Japanese rice harvest, as a result of which US rice was imported to Japan. Being extremely particular about rice, many people in Japan found US rice hard to accept -- until Chiba found a way to improve its taste with white charcoal placed in the rice cooker.

    This opened the door to a diverse range of new charcoal products, including charcoal cleansers and shampoos, as well as charcoal fresheners.

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[re:new tohoku] Chaco

Adam Fulford Business

VIDEO CHANNEL GUIDE renewtohoku.org/videos
CONTACT
a.fulford@japanesegreats.jp

Great products from areas in Japan that were hit hard by the 2011 disaster were featured at Asia House in London in July, 2012. We are eager to identify buyers,…


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VIDEO CHANNEL GUIDE renewtohoku.org/videos
CONTACT
a.fulford@japanesegreats.jp

Great products from areas in Japan that were hit hard by the 2011 disaster were featured at Asia House in London in July, 2012. We are eager to identify buyers, designers and other partners who can help us make these products successful in markets outside Japan.

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