The Journey of Tea

Why Does Shizuoka, Japan, Produce Both Tea and Precision Model Toys?

Why Does Shizuoka, Japan, Produce Both Tea and Precision Model Toys?
Hello everyone,

I'm Andy, a tea enthusiast.

Last week, I was in Shizuoka, Japan, for a World Green Tea Contest award ceremony and took the time to visit the "Kunozan Toshogu Shrine." The exquisite architectural decorations were breathtaking. The shrine is dedicated to the deity Tokugawa Ieyasu. Offerings of beautifully crafted toy models were on display, sparking curiosity. It's common to see food or daily goods as offerings, but toy models are quite rare.

After a local friend explained, it turns out that Tokugawa Ieyasu, besides being a tea lover, had craftsmen who, after the end of the wars, transferred their skills from making weapons to creating wooden models, the precursor to plastic toy models.

Shizuoka is famous not only for tea but also for precision model toys. Companies like Tamiya, Hasegawa, Aoshima, and Fujimi are well-known model makers from Shizuoka. Bandai also started its model business by acquiring the "Imai Science" factory in Shizuoka. Tamiya is known for its Mini 4WD while Bandai is famous for its Gundam models.

The craftsmen of old Shizuoka would make weapons while drinking tea; today's experience in Shizuoka is about making models while enjoying tea. Also, Zinan Temple in Nantou County has a "Golden Rooster" as its mascot, while Kunozan Toshogu in Shizuoka has the "Tokugawa Ieyasu Gundam model" as its mascot. On your next visit to Shizuoka, in addition to tea, you might want to "invite" a " Musha Gundam Mk-II Tokugawa Ieyasu Ver." to bring home for worship.

That's all for today's share; see you next time.

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