Residents of Tarumizu City in Kagoshima Prefecture (photo) are understandably bummed since mother nature recently used their city as an ashtray as a record high plume erupted from Sakurajima volcano last Sunday. Even the rolled eyes of Sakurajima’s own Yuru-kyara mascot, Sakurajimon, belie his insincere smile.
However, there are some who couldn’t be happier for this monumental eruption. These people are the makers of canned volcanic ash from Sakurajima sold as Hai! Douzo!! for only 100 yen a can.
The name is a pun on the word "hai" which can mean “yes” or “ash,” so the name could be read as “Here you go!” or “Ash! Please!!” The label is also full of information like the amount: “100cc of unwelcome blessings from the sky” and the ingredients: “Fallen ash of Sakurajima: the pain of Tarumizu citizens.”
Don’t go thinking this was some shyster at work cashing in on the international news-making volcano though. This product was conceived by a regional tourism council back in 2010 to be sold to tourists as a souvenir.
The ash is taken from the rooftop of Tarumizu City Hall, so you know it’s free of dog poop and cigarette butts. Also, the labeling and canning work is done through a program offering chances to work to disabled people who might otherwise be discriminated against. So you know you can feel good taking home a can or two of ash.
Even before the record Sakurajima eruption, Hai! Douzo!! was gearing up for a big year in 2013. Since Jan 11, 2014 is the 100th anniversary of the massive Taisho Eruption, the area has been spending the year leading up to it with the “100th Anniversary Taisho Eruption Project” aimed at raising awareness for disaster preparedness.
As part of the event, Hai! Douzo!! is releasing 1,914 limited edition cans of Hai! Douzo!! Premium with special labeling commemorating Japan’s largest modern eruption along with the regular cans.
Even though it’s premium, the cans still sell for the suggested retail price of 100 yen. If you want to get your hands on some fine quality Sakurajima ash, then your best bet is to check around Kagoshima area gift shops. You may be able to find some for sale online too.
Source: Naver Matome
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