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Sweet potatoes making name for themselves

Date Posted: 2009-04-03

The sweet potato and Yomitan Village are becoming synonymous in the west central Okinawa community, where nearly one-third of the islandís distinctive purple sweet potatoes are grown.

Sweet potatoes have been an integral part of Yomitanís history, growing tons of the vegetables long before World War II. Their popularity transcends rice, a Japanese meal staple, and sweet potatoes exports to mainland Japan have been steadily increasing. Yomitan Village has become an island-wide and nationwide promoter of the purple sweet potatoes, and is trying to incorporate the village name and the sweet potato into its own brand.

Yomitan, home of the famous Cape Zampa and Zakimi Castle ruins, a World Heritage Site, is marketing both the sites and its homegrown fabrics, Ryukyu glass, shishi dogs and now, the sweet potato. The local Chamber of commerce is working with farmers to support the Yomitan Village promotion.

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