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How did we decide on establishing kou-fuku.jp?
It all started with the serial Tabisuru Ibukuro (tr. Culinary Journeys) in ANA's in-flight magazine, Wingspan. I spent a year traveling around the country collecting information about foods and the people involved with them. However, there is a great deal of media promoting interest in food without actually providing a chance for those focused on the creation of food to directly exchange thoughts and engage in adequate discourse. Also, the higher the level of focus they have, the more that their distribution options are limited, making it more difficult to deliver their products to those who have a true interest in them. That being the case, I came upon the idea of establishing a website where, by transmitting accurate information and opening new avenues for direct sales, I could bring together these creators and consumers who may be trying to seek each other out. Although the scope of my abilities may be limited, just by treading in this harsh culinary world I began to hope that I could help such people by acting as a go-between.

It may be inevitable, but websites involving direct sales lead to conflicts of interest between those who create products and those who consume and use them, which ends up causing problems such as illegal or exaggerated advertising that violates pharmaceutical laws. I'd like to make a distinction between such sites and this project in the management of our website. One advantage to using the Internet is anonymity; however, there is no shortage of those who abuse this anonymity for their own gain. In order to avoid such dangers and to create an environment where information can be obtained and products bought and sold safely, I then implemented a membership system. In order to further refine the user base down to those with a deep interest in the site, I next set up a yearly membership fee. The proceeds from this are used for information gathering and filming, as well as creation, updates, and maintenance of the website.

This fee reflects well on the great deal of enthusiasm and labor we have poured into the site, and those who have registered as members have expressed considerable satisfaction. We were delighted to receive assistance from Mr Ryusuke Sato(*) as well as former Wingspan editor Tadashi Wakami, both of whom wished to create a website that supports a lifestyle of true culinary delight. Drawing on previous locations visited by Mr Sato and Mr Wakami as well as others such as Takuji Masakawa, we feature food makers whom we have judged to be of particularly exceptional regard.

We would be delighted to welcome you, too, as one of our members at http://www.kou-fuku.jp

*Ryusuke Sato is a copywriter and editor who spent 10 years as an apprentice to the late Shotaro Ikenami. He is one of the few remaining writers to have successfully adopted the late master's style and refinement. He is an authority on food, liquor, and pottery, and renowned as an expert in the Japanese culinary arts.

Il Pleut sur la Seine
New Project (due for commencement)
As of 2010, we have undertaken the planning, and creation of PR, sales promotion and branding, for the Il Pleut Sur La Seine "Rice and Side Dish Renaissance" project (http://www.ilpleut.co.jp/). As part of a long-term project carried out in 3-year intervals, this project will look to the future of the company while providing marketing and merchandizing for new products.

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