"Unryu Washi Lamp" Awarded Grand PrizeJapanese Souvenir Contest22 February 2013 - Sightseeing/Events
The contest "Miryokuaru Nippon no Omiyage Contest," or Charming Japanese Souvenir contest, sponsored by the Japan Tourism Agency, designed to appeal to foreigners, was held in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area on February 22. "Unryu Washi Lamp" made by the shop "Hirose Sosaku Kogei" in Yosano-cho, Kyoto Prefecture, won the Grand Prize. The lamp is seasonal interior product with a wooden frame used for textiles and Tango Washi. Representative Isao Hirose was pleased about the award, saying "I hope this award encourages our languid textile town."
Having run a textile business for 40 years, Mr. Hirose also established a shop named "Hirose Sosaku Kogei" in 1995. The lamp is a reused wooden frame measuring 15 centimeters square and 17 centimeters high, wrapped in Tango Washi decorated with real flowers on the outside, with a light bulb installed.
His products have been sold at local "Michi no Eki," or roadside rest areas, Japanese inns and hotels in Amanohashidate, Kyoto Prefecture. In addition, he has also provided a workshop where visitors can experience lamp production since roughly five years ago.
There were 636 applicants from across Japan in the 9th contest. Results of a poll by staff of foreign tourist bureaus and Japanese experts had the lamp's total score tied with another product. However, the lamp was awarded the Grand Prize because it received high scores from foreigners.
A French Embassy official said, "I felt a special Japanese touch from the washi decorated with 'Momiji,' or maple leaves, not to mention the materials. The size is easy to carry home."
The award ceremony will be held in the Tokyo metropolitan area on March 19, and the products are also scheduled to be exhibited and sold in international airports, including Narita International Airport, Haneda Airport and Kansai International Airport. For more information, contact the "Hirose Sosaku Kogei" at 0772-42-5609 (Japanese language inquiries only).(translated by Galileo, Inc.)