1 About the Yonezawa Brand
The Yonezawa Brand initiative was created to bring life to our slogan of ‘Challenge and Creation, proving Yonezawa’s quality’ and was envisioned as a way to work with citizens to improve the quality of local services and institutions – such as those relating to local produce, the service industry, tourism, cultural facilities and administration. Our aim is to improve Yonezawa as a whole as well as the livelihoods of our citizens – with a further aim to promote an increase in the population of our city.
So far, the citizens of Yonezawa have actively been involved in the exchange of ideas and opinions that have molded the brand concept. Moving into the future, we endeavor to continue to create a ‘Yonezawa Brand’ and ‘Yonezawa Quality’ that the citizens who love Yonezawa can be involved with.
‘Yonezawa’s future can only be made by those who love Yonezawa’
We have set out to pin point what we consider the essence of ‘Yonezawa’ and with that in mind create a continuing legacy – where our ‘action group’ of members can continue to share and focus on the things, people, and ideas needed to improve our city. This site will continue to release information supporting this group.
2 An announcement regarding the next stage of Yonezawa ‘Challenge and Creation’
Yonezawa City Mayor
In order to create a brighter future for the city of Yonezawa, we have taken to heart the teachings of the former lord Uesugi Yozan and the spirit of his teachings ‘Nasebanaru’ (If you put your mind to it, you can do it) – with this idea of challenge and creation we aim to turn our eyes to the future and pave the way for Yonezawa’s next generation.
We plan on creating a new type of ‘Yonezawa Quality’ that will lead to a better tomorrow for Yonezawa – one that highlights the efforts of every individual and puts focus on what it means to be a part of Yonezawa’s culture.
Our city aims to work with its residents and create a team to improve and better the quality of Yonezawa as a whole – from industry, artistry, and business – even to the livability of our city.
Therefore, as a representative of Yonezawa City and its people, I declare today the start of a joint movement aimed towards challenge and creation, focused on building a better future.
November 2nd 2018
Yonezawa City Mayor
3 About the Yonezawa Brand Concept
Focused on building a new Yonezawa through the DNA of Uesugi Yozan and the spirit of ‘Challenge and Creation’ – the following is the basic concept for our brand concept.
Amongst the worsening of a declining and ageing population comes the unprecedented speed of evolving technologies – meaning the future of Japan will undoubtedly see drastic change in the future. Furthemore, Yonezawa is faced with the issue of a shift in the workforce to larger cities, declining population, and economic decline – creating a need to work towards a better future, one that we can look forward to even a decade from now. We want the local area to focus on its ‘unique strengths’ in order to pave the way for a new future, in essence, to ‘produce locality’. In order to address the future of Yonezawa it is necessary to determine and define what we mean by ‘Yonezawa-esque’. When our citizens were posed with this question, many answered that the teaching of ‘Nasebanaru’ (If you put your mind to it, you can do it) and the culture passed down from Yonezawa’s former feudal lord Uesugi Yozan embodied the spirit of Yonezawa.
Around 250 years ago, Uesugi Yozan delivered inventive administrative reforms that revitalized the local infrastructure and created unprecedented new steps forward in industry. Many of the citizens of our city believe that this spirit of ‘Challenge and Creation’ is needed once again today. After transforming Yonezawa from a time of economic difficulty, former US president J.F. Kennedy spoke of Yozan as being ‘the Japanese politician I most respect’ and his spirit of ‘Challenge and Creation’ lives on in the mind and bodies of the people of Yonezawa today. Throughout the history of Yonezawa our citizens have gone on to create such specialties as Yonezawa Beef, Yonezawa textiles – and even made waves in the world of technology such as the creation of synthetic fibers such as rayon, as well as developing laptop computers and EL (electroluminescent) technology.
Just as Uesugi Yonezawa did before, in order to create a better future for Yonezawa in the coming decades – a new vigor is required, one that the city and citizens should work together to create through the spirit of ‘Challenge and Creation’. Even in times of hardship the bountiful nature of Yonezawa’s distinct four seasons provides enjoyment, and it is by protecting that irreplaceable nature and creating a legacy for the people of Yonezawa based on quality – that the knowledge, will, and skill of our Yonezawa citizens will continue to move forward. At the same time, we aim to raise the next generation to focus on ‘Challenge and Creation’ and make sure the products created in Yonezawa see a never before seen level of quality. We also want those who come to Yonezawa to be able to enjoy the things Yonezawa has to offer. We endeavor to focus on the new technologies that will connect us to the future generation, and work towards further new innovations being produced. As such, we want to create a city that anyone – be they children, young or old can enjoy – whether they moved here or were born here. The DNA of ‘Challenge and Creation’ that our citizens have chosen with pride – will create a quality and work force only possible in Yonezawa – and hopefully give Yonezawa new value, appeal, and vigor unseen anywhere else in Japan.
4 The Yonezawa Brand Slogan and Logo
Based on the results of a citizen run workshop held in July 2018, the concept of our brand was decided by December. After receiving the opinions from citizens in public meetings and creating project team meetings that were held over 10 times in total – the slogan was decided by vote on the 23rd May 2018 during a Yonezawa Brand Meeting. We would like to thank all the people of Yonezawa who supported us during this period.
Our Yonezawa brand slogan was chosen to not just focus on the ‘things’ created in Yonezawa, but to also shine light on those ‘ideas’ and the ‘people’ involved in Yonezawa as well.
5 Continuation and Betterment of Yonezawa Quality
The Yonezawa Quality initiative seeks to create an idea of what constitutes ‘Challenge and Creation’ and to create a group of those willing to continue to better this ideal – Yonezawa city will then continue to support this group into the future. This process sets out to follow the steps of ‘Public Education’ → ‘Creating Challenge and Creation’ → ‘Creating high quality ideas and products’ – a process that we hope to then repeat itself indefinitely.
This group that will create the future of Yonezawa has been dubbed ‘TEAM NEXT YONEZAWA’ and any party who endeavors to embody the concept of ‘Challenge and Creation’ can register to be a part of it. The city and its citizens shall work together to make a better and brighter Yonezawa.
6 About the Yonezawa Quality Award
The Yonezawa Quality Award
- This award has been created to award those exceptional participants who embody the spirit of ‘Challenge and Creation’ – those whose services and products excel in promoting the ideal of ‘Yonezawa Quality’
- (1) Who can apply Those who have received TEAM NEXT YONEZAWA member status
- (2) Details of the application
Apply by describing the following 9 application points using the Yonezawa Brand Official website.
①Outline of your service or product ②Your own story of ‘Challenge and Creation ③ How you plan to increase the quality of your service or product ④The unique nature or value of your product or service ⑤The response to your product or service ⑥The means in which you release information ⑦Method of assessment ⑧Your plan for the future ⑨Your contribution to Yonezawa
- The above 9 criteria will be reviewed under 5 specific judging criteria by our judging panel- who will decide whether it is appropriate to award the “Yonezawa Quality AWARD”. As of now, local judges will also make decisions where external judges may be unable to – such as the need for a local understanding and provide assessment and review at a local level.
Judging Criteria Main Points
- (1) Whether the applicant has exceled in envisioning the spirit of ‘Challenge and Creation’
- (2) What form of ‘Exceptional Quality’ or ‘Assessment’ their product/service has and whether it has stand out features when compared to rivals both domestic and abroad.
- (3) Effort Evaluation (Sales, Evaluation of activities, External Evaluation) Whether numerical and objective results can be exhibited
- (4) Yonezawa Brand Elevation Potential – whether the product or service can be deemed expected to contribute or elevate the awareness of Yonezawa
- (5) How much the applicant can be expected to change the future of Yonezawa (Planning, Eagerness) Will the applicant continue to make developments in the next 5, 10 years.
Yonezawa Quality AWARD Committee
- Committee Chairperson Kazushumi Nagai will act as third part judge for the “Yonezawa Quality AWARD”
- Products and services will be judged from an objective standpoint as to whether they will increase the potential of ‘Yonezawa Quality’ as well as exceeding to embody the ideal of ‘Challenge and Creation’.
- External judges will use their own knowledge and experience not just in judging for the AWARD but also to give those applicants for the AWARD advice and back up to improve the quality of their product/service. Also for members of TEAM NEXT YONEZAWA – meetings with those external judges can also be arranged.
- Internal (local) judges will fulfill the need of understanding points and concepts that would not be possible for external judges – providing understanding at a local level.
- Citizen judges will provide a unique perspective only possible by local residents, as such to provide a ‘Yonezawa Quality AWARD’ decision that local people will agree with.