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まきビズ / MakiBiz

Tue, 2014-10-28 19:22

Issue Date: 27 October 2014
Reporting Period: 20 October 2014 – 26 October 2014

Business of the Week
Name: Kumagai Sangyo (existing client _ new case)

Oppagawa in Ishinomaki is home to one of Japan's largest reed fields, making the area a beautiful site in the autumn, when the entire landscape is dyed golden yellow. In this region, there has been a long tradition of houses with thatched roofs. Each household used to maintained their own thatched roofs, so there was no need for professional roofers. As Japan's economy grew, people started to use more modern roofings for their houses. Naturally, the number of professionals who have experience in thatched roofs lessened, but Kumagai Sangyo survived. Currently they maintain traditional houses and old buildings designated as cultural assets throughout Japan. Their success can be partially attributed to their ability to find a niche and easy access to the reed fields, and of course to their professional skills.

Kumagao Sangyo has been facing new challenges since the Great East Japan Earthquake. They lost their office and warehouse in the tsunami, but have rebuilt a new office in the same location. The owner of the company, Mr. Kumagai says that he was inspired by the resilient people of the Philippines who repeatedly experience typhoon and flooding. "In a place like Japan, people are rooted to their land and culture. There's no future for a city unless people support each other. Traditionally the Ishinomakians are not open to new ideas, but we need to be open-minded to new ideas, and selectively implement them in order for us to grow," says Mr. Kumagai. His idea is to use his property as a place of community interaction. His aim is to preserve the nature and culture of Ishinomaki for future generations through a wide range of workshops and events. He has come to MakiBiz for help in finding someone who will be able to manage this venue well. Finding such a person is extremely difficult. However, we believe this project will create a positive influence to the entire community, so MakiBiz is going to reach out to our network to help him find someone who can move the project forward.

New office built after the tsunami (the walls are made with reed)

Potential building for meet-ups (thatched roof with natural slated walls)

  1. Project Updates
    • Client In-take
      • GREEN: on-going
      • Total number of business owners that we contacted to date: 191 (+4 since last report)
      • Last report was 187, but upon checking client numbers, adjusted to 191. We had a new case with an existing client this week. We have also continued to follow up with other clients.
      • Total number of jobs created or recovered: 514 (+/- 0 since last report)

    • MakiBiz Build Back Better Tohoku Request for Proposal program
      As soon as the precut materials arrive, construction will resume. Construction is scheduled for completion in mid-November.
      Tamiko Abe
      Construction on framing continues and work on the sashes have begun. Construction is scheduled for completion at the end of November.
    • Business Support Projects
      • Kesennuma Shipyard Group
        Preparing to establish an incorporated company. Draft of overall project budget will be completed on the 29th. Negotiating with banks. The project is schedule for completion in Spring 2017
        MakiBiz Supporters: Nissho Partners, Aku Aku Architecture, Kisaka Attorney

      • Sato Shipyard Group
        Will receive relocation compensation details from the Miyagi prefecture next week. Planning on having a final discussion on equipment. The project is scheduled for completion in Spring 2015.
        MakiBiz Supporters: Nissho Partners, Consultant K, Asia Kousoku, Team-O, Nihon Hoist, Zeniya Kaiyo Service, Wakachiku Construction, Kisaka Attorney, Kaneda Social Insurance Office

      • Suzuki Shipyard Group
        National government agency and MakiBiz business supporters are working on relocation compensation details. Draft of business plan to be completed at the end of October. Will begin speaking with Nippon Foundation at the end of October. The project is scheduled for completion in Summer 2016.
        MakiBiz Supporters: Nissho Partners, Aku Aku Architecture, Wakachiku Construction Company, Kanda Communications

      • Shoninbori Shipyard Group
        Will decide on equipment by the end of the month. The project is scheduled for completion in Fall 2016.
        MakiBiz Supporters: Nissho Partners, Nihon Hoist

      • Ogatsu Shipyard Group
        Securing contract with the contractors. Working on obtaining loans from the bank. The project is scheduled for completion in Spring 2015.
        MakiBiz Supporters: Nissho Partners, Aku Aku Architecture, Wakachiku Construction Company, Kanda Communications

      • Kikuzakari Sake Brewery
        Will draft cost estimate on equipment repair and replacement by end of October. They are still raising funds on Music Securities website with the goal of raising 13,000,000 yen. A successful Tohoku support event held on the 24th. Planning a ceremony for the first sake preparation in mid-November.
        MakiBiz Supporters: Office Itsuki, Kisaka Attorney

      • Yamagataya
        Creating a business plan with a supporting organization. Will work on application for high level loans upon completion by mid-November.
        MakiBiz Supporters: Nissho Partners

      • Hamagurihama Project
        Had a meeting with a representative from Tohoku Kyoeki about their investment fund. Discussed effect of the seawall construction beginning early next year to their business.
        MakiBiz Supporters: Tohoku Kyoeki Kikin

      • Baikado
        Working on improvement of their number one product "Higashi Taiheiyo". Considering to give it a premier feel by adding nuts, gold flakes, and raisins. Next meeting on 11/13.
        MakiBiz Supporters: Communa Translation Design, Kaneda Social Insurance Office

      • Ishinomaki Marina
        Finished a draft of a plan and met to review it. Will meet with the Kitakami River Office on 11/24.
    • Other Projects
        We attended a fundraising seminar titled "Creating Proposals that Move and Resonate with Others," held by Ishinomaki Reconstrcution Support Network. The instructor talked about importance of clear communication of an organization's mission and passion to people, so that we make people want to support us.

  2. Red Flagged Issues:
    • Scheduled Completion (10/30/2012). NEW Anticipated Completion (10/31/2014)
    • Business Coordinator [Japanese]
    • Fundraiser [Japanese]
    • We have received many applications to the fundraiser position, and interviewed a few candidates. But we have not identified the right candidate. We will continue searching until we find one.

End of Weekly Report