[BC Trips] リサーチ日記 #11 - 台中

In August 2019, we visited Taichung with the help of a regional revitalization team in Taiwan to further our research. Taichung was once thought of as an industrial city, but is now fast gaining popularity among the tourist as a melting pot of both culinary and cultural delights. On the cultural side, you will find traditional crafts that have been handed down since ancient times, as well as many shops and workshops for pottery and wood carving art. Here are some sustainable stories we found there.

私たちは2019年の8月に、大きなリサーチを行うため、現地の地方創生チームによる協力のもと、台中を訪れました。台中には、古くから伝わる伝統工芸が点在しており、陶芸や木彫りの美術品などを扱う店や工房を多く見かけます。今回は、そこで見つけたサステナブル・ストーリーをいくつかご紹介します。

三義鴨箱寶(Shuanfeng Wooden Duck Factory)

Sanyi is the wood carving hometown and has gathered the most skillful wood carving Masters in Taiwan. "Shuangfeng Wood Duck Factory" has been famous for its wood ducks since 1963. If you used to have or still have a “Wood Duck” decoration at home, it might have come from here, since this factory used to be the largest and first wood duck manufacturer for the US, Europe, and Japan. They no longer exports their products and is now a place where you can experience DIY painting. 

1963年に設立された木の工芸品を扱う工房。元々は、木製のアヒルや水鳥などを製造し、アメリカ、ヨーロッパ、日本などへ輸出をしていました。中でも、デコイ(DECOY)と呼ばれる木彫りの鴨は、観賞用だけでなく、鴨猟をするときに水に浮かせて使うことでも有名です。現在はビジネスポリシーを変え、観光客や学校の課外授業に向けたDIY工房として、絵付け体験ができる環境を与えています。

What was truly amazing about this place was how they procure the woods that they use. Everything they buy were through fairtrade. Taiwan is a country with many disasters like typhoons and earthquakes and so manufacturers of trees can lose money when there is a natural disaster and their woods are damaged. The government put in place a mechanism so that the government buys these damaged woods from the manufacturers and sell to others in need. This helps both the manufacturers as their loss will be minimum and for the buying party they are able to buy the woods through a proper channel and reasonable price.

そして、皆さんに一番お伝えしたったのが、木材の調達について。こちらの工房では、台湾政府が管理する、災害被害で倒れてしまった木を正当な値段で買い取り、それらを材料にしています。台湾も、日本と同じく台風や地震などの災害が多い国です。生産者に負担をかけないよう、まずは政府が買い取る仕組みは、とても素晴らしい考えだと思いました。フェアーな取引は、まさしくサステナブルやエシカル消費に基づくと言えます。

梨理人農村工作室 (Ririren)

Ririren was founded by two young people in Taiwan. In 2015 they visited a rural area in Taichung through a government-sponsored trip. There they were surprised that a huge amount of waste was generated in the pear industry. When they saw the sight of burning pear stems, they began to think how it can be reused. As a result, pear stems have been reborn as unique products through their creativity. Now they also make dried fruits from damaged pears which cannot be sold in the market. We went to their workshop and saw how much time it took to dry the stem, cut it, polish it, and make them into the finished product. What's even better and amazing they make sure that it is fair for everyone involved in production. For example, pears and stems that have been discarded are purchased from producers at a reasonable price. Workers who are hired to make the pens are paid higher than the minimum wage. We thought what they are doing is truly remarkable; Ririren continues to work every day with innovative ideas to further help the agricultural waste recycling system. They hope that this will ultimately attract people's attention to rural issues and promote more youth development.

2015年に、2人の若者が立ち上げたブランド。彼らが学生の時に訪れた農村で目の当たりにしたのが、梨の収穫時にでる大量の廃棄物。それは、梨の茎、出荷できない傷モノの梨、収穫に使われる大量のビニール袋、全てはそこで焼却されます。この廃棄物を何かに再利用できないか?彼らは考え始めました。その結果、梨の茎はボールペンや万年筆へ、傷モノの梨はドライフルーツへ、新たな命へと蘇らせたのです。私たちは、彼らのいる工房へも足を運びました。そこには、茎を乾燥させる作業、削る作業、磨く作業と、製品になるまでに莫大な時間を要する事も実感しました。さらに素晴らしいのは、生産に関わる全ての人に対してフェアーである事。例えば、今まで廃棄していた梨や茎は、生産者から正当な値段で買い取ります。そして、ペンを生産するために雇う労働者には、国で定められた賃金より高い金額を支払います。など、全てが徹底された素晴らしい取り組みだと思います。

Next, we will introduce sustainable items we found in Yilan in Taitung city.

次回は、台東にある宜蘭(イーラン)で見つけたサステナブルをご紹介します。