Relay Freshness



Host: MPS Japan Co.,Ltd
Grower: Mr. Aoyagi Toshiharu, JA Shin-Hakodate/Tsukigata, Hokkaido

             JA Tozai-Shirakawa, Fukushima-prefecture

             Mr. Oki shinichi, JA Agatsuma, Gunma-prefecture

             Yamaki flower garden, Chiba-prefecture

             Hamamatsu PC GERBERA, Shizuoka-prefecture

             JA Himawari, Aichi-prefecture

Items: Dianthus caryophyllus (Spray), Alstroemeria, Eustoma grandiflorum, Dahlia, Rosa, Helianthus annuus, Gerbera, Gentiana, Ammi majus


We displayed the flowers from growers that satisfied the criteria for Relay Freshnes.


What is Relay Freshness?
It is a certificate system that evaluates measures for extending vase-lives of flowers. It lays down the quality control criteria and certifies high quality when the criteria are satisfied.
Even if a grower makes flowers of great quality, it is not possible to “relay” the great flowers to customers without the appropriate control in supply chains like at a wholesale market or a shop.
By this reason, the entire flower industry aims to enhance awareness of extension of flower vase-lives.

  • 190902C319
  • 190902C317

↓These are the labels of each section.

  • farm

    Farm section

  • market

    Market section

  • shop

    Shop/Retail section

✤Points to be evaluated at retailers
In order to evaluated whether flowers are treated in a clean environment, and their quality is appropriately controlled, the following points are checked.
➀Shop ➁Water rinsing ➂Container ➃Workplace ➄Storage ➅Spending days ➆Condition of transport ➇Customer service

The followings are the examples of each criteria.

Please find the details on MPS Japan website.

✤Displayed Items

  • 190902C302

    JA Shin-Hakodate
    Dianthus caryophyllus (Spray)

  • 190902C305

    JA Himawari

  • 190902C307

    Tsukigata Mr. Aoyagi Toshiharu
    Ammi majus

  • 190902C308

    JA Agatsuma Mr. Oki Shinji

  • 190902C313

    Yamaki flower garden
    Helianthus annuus


  • 190902C311

    JA Tozai-Shirakawa

  • 190902C301

    Hamamatsu PC GERBERA

Translated by S. Yamamoto

FMA: A proposal of new standardization

Association for matching between Supply and Demand in flowers(FMA): A proposal of new standardization

OTA Floriculture Auction organized “Association for Matching between supply and demand in Flowers (FMA)” together with 40 supply-chain partners including growers’ cooperatives, wholesalers, flower-processing companies and retailers from all over Japan. New standards (“Smart-flower standards”) have been formulated to promote distribution of Japanese domestic cut flowers which can match with the actual usage of flower-processing companies (bouquets maker). Associate partners of FMA cooperate to implement the plan, and hopes that their activity will eventually contribute to strengthening international competitiveness of Japanese domestic cut flowers and to increasing profitability of cultivation among Japanese growers.

 In recent years, a share of sales from retailers increases more and more, who handle ready-made bouquets. The trend goes in tandem with the development of “regular-price products” by diversification of selling styles. In addition, there have been changes in demand for items and required standards of flowers used in funerals. However, the current situation of domestic flower production and supply-chain cannot cover those changes. These mismatches are causing confusions at markets.

In order to solve these problems, we OTA Floriculture Auction, as the largest flower wholesale market in Japan, have established FMA participated by growers’cooperatives, wholesalers, flower-processing companies and retailers. All flower supply-chain partners join forces toward this issue, and try to have an agreement for the common policy of production and sales to meet final consumers’ demand.

And this time, FMA announced new standards for basic assortment of cut flowers, after a number of discussions and verifications. FMA positions those new standards as standards for expansion of domestic flower cultivation, improvement of growers’net income, activation of retailers, and expansion plus cultivation of flower consumption under stable supply. That is because FMA believes such an effort will contribute to expansion of stable production and distribution of cut flowers targeted at processing companies who know the actual usage of retailers.

Interpreted by Y. Fuchu

Smart Flower01

Smart Flower02





Coming new era “Reiwa”

On Monday, the Japanese government revealed that the name of Japan’s new era starting on May 1st will be “Reiwa (令和).”

This name is cited from the poetry in “Man’yoshu“, which is the oldest existing edited collection of Japanese poetry and this particular poetry brings up plum blossoms saying:
“Shojun wa Rei-getsu nishite, ki yoku kaze *yawaragi, “ume (plum) no hana (blossom)“, wa kyozen no ko wo hiraki ran wa haigo no ko wo kaorasu.”
*the Kanji character of “yawaragi” reads “wa” in another way.

The meaning of this poetry is, “In the refreshing wind which softly breezes in the harmonious month at the beginning of spring, plum blossoms are beautifully blooming as if a beautiful woman is putting a face powder on in front of a mirror, while the feast is surrounded with the fragrance like a scent bag that noble people put on.”

Our prime minister Shinzo Abe, has talked about the meaning behind this word for the coming new era:
“Just as plum blossoms that bloom brilliantly as a sign of spring, everyone can bloom with a hope for tomorrow. That’s what we wish for Japan to be, and that’s why we have chosen this word.”

He also appeared on the NHK evening news on Monday, when he explained the importance of Japanese traditions and spirit along with Japanese blossoms and culture.


Plum blossoms, which appeared in the poetry from which “Reiwa” is cited, have the most wonderful scent among all kinds of Rosaceae family plants including fruits, cherry blossoms, apples, pears and even almonds. This is one of the first scent that tells people “Spring is coming.”

Regarding the scent bag which also appeared in this poetry, it is a bag stuffed with Santalum album or Eupatorium japonicum. Even since 7~8C, these kinds of plants have been attracting people in this country.


The “Man’yoshu” includes not only Eupatorium japonicum, but also Japan’s seven flowers of spring such as Dianthus and Patrinia scabiosifolia. This shows the culture of enjoying flowers to compose a poetry originates from this collection.

Now, the flower industry is going towards the big annual event, Mother’s Day, when Dianthus like Carnation gets so popular. There may be some opportunities to advertise Dianthus with this new era’s meaning.

After the announcement of the new era’s name, a lot of “Reiwa” phenomena have been seen such as the special edition of newspapers is selling at a high price, or the made up character “Reiwa-chan” has been viral on twitter.

It is needless to say that “Man’yoshu” has suddenly got so popular that many are being sold out, but we hope flowers in that collection also attract people’s attention and hence Japan will be cheered up by beautiful flowers with a lot of flower lovers.




Original article written by Mr. Murata,
Translated by S. Yamamoto

Flowers from Oita




Cooperatives of JA Oita Bungo-ono, JA Oita Bungo-takada, JA Oita Saiki-honan-ume, JA Oita Nambu-saiki, JA Oita Tobu-yamaga, JA Oita Tobu-kitsuki, JA Oita Hohi-taketa, JA Kusu-kokonoe (Lisianthus), and JA Kusu-kokonoe (Marchen Rose)

Lathyrus odoratus (Sweet Pea), Chrysanthemum, Eustoma grandiflorum (Lisianthus), Rosa, Ranunculus, Gypsophila, Limonium HB


We displayed the flowers acknowledged as “The Oita”

  • 190218C105
  • 190218C107
  • 190218C108
  • 190218C104
  • 190218C106

Oita prefecture is blessed with amazing nature. The altitude varies from 0 meters to 1,000 meters depending on the area, that is why unique high-quality flowers are grown throughout a year in each climate.


-Sweet Pea-

BUNGO-ONO = JA Oita Bungo-Ono
SAIKI-HONAN = JA Oita Saiki-honan-ume
BUNGO-TAKADA = JA Oita Bungo-takada

  • 190218C174Royal Crimson
  • 190218C176Scarlet
  • 190218C178Blue Engel
  • 190218C180Neo Grace
  • 190218C182Lavender


  • 190218C184Fujika
  • 190218C186Catherine
  • 190218C188Diana
  • 190218C190Salmon Pink
  • 190218C192Little Princes


  • 190218C194Diana
  • 190218C196Fairly Pink
  • 190218C198Crystal White
  • 190218C200First Lady
  • 190218C202Stella


  • 190218C204Light Brown
  • 190218C206Brown
  • 190218C208Heart Orange
  • 190218C210Orange
  • 190218C212Orange


  • 190218C214Yellow
  • 190218C216Yellow
  • 190218C218Maccha
  • 190218C220Fresh Apple
  • 190218C222Soft Blue


  • 190218C224Bordeaux
  • 190218C226Milky
  • 190218C228Heart
  • 190218C230Kiss Me
  • 190218C232Madonna


  • 190218C234Momoko
  • 190218C236Sakura
  • 190218C238Grace
  • 190218C240Celeste
  • 190218C242Monet


  • 190218C244Fujika
  • 190218C246Antique
  • 190218C248Dark Blue
  • 190218C250Murasaki Shibori
  • 190218C252Navy


  • 190218C254Navy Blue
  • 190218C256Royal Queen
  • 190218C258Mulberry


-Ranunculus ✤ JA Oita Tobu-yamaga-

  • 190218C114Mango
    (Trial, Provisional name)
  • 190218C116Orange
    (Trial, Provisional name)
  • 190218C118Dione
  • 190218C120Ninos
  • 190218C122Beige
    (Trial, Provisional name)


  • 190218C124Kasumi
    (Trial, Provisional name)
  • 190218C126Castalia
  • 190218C128Pasteria
  • 190218C130Tiva
  • 190218C132Dodona


  • 190218C134Musa
  • 190218C136Elice
  • 190218C138Aura
  • 190218C140Ariadne
  • 190218C142White Lithai
    (Trial, Provisional name)


  • 190218C144Semiramis
  • 190218C146Lithai
  • 190218C148Lemon
    (Trial, Provisional name)
  • 190218C152Satyros



  • 190218C110Voyage Blue
    JA Kusu-kokonoe
  • 190218C112Celeb Orchid
    JA Kusu-kokonoe
  • 190218C154Celeb Yellow
    JA Oita Hohi-taketa
  • 190218C156Amore White
    JA Oita Hohi-taketa
  • 190218C158Bon Voyage White
    JA Oita Hohi-taketa


-Rosa ✤ Marchen Rose-

  • 190218C162Sans Adieu!
  • 190218C164M-Vintage Sweets
  • 190218C166Pink Smoothie!
  • 190218C168M-Bridal Red
  • 190218C170M-Gretel



  • 190218C160 Limonium HB
    Blue Wave
    JA Oita Tobu-kitsuki
  • 190218C172Gyosophila
    JA Oita Tobu-kitsuki
  • 190218C100Chrysanthemum (White)
    JA Oita Nambu-saiki
  • 190218C102Chrysanthemum (Yellow)
    Seiko Kogyoku
    JA Oita Nambu-saiki


Chrysal professional 2 is given to the water of displayed items.


Translated by S. Yamamoto

A scent like Sakura tells us Fall is on the way

  • 170925S156Thoroughwort Pink
  • 170925S158Thoroughwort White


Thoroughwort, one of the “Japan’s seven flowers of fall (see below)”, has been arriving at OTA flower market since last month.
Although it may not be a gorgeous flower, Thoroughwort is worth feasting your eyes on by its beautiful serrated leaves in rich green, and the reddish-brown stems, with the entire upward shape.

Thoroughwort can be fully enjoyed by itself in a vase, though it is also well-known for its excellent scent that is reminiscent of an old cherry blossom. You can enjoy Thoroughwort therefore both as a fresh cut flower and as a dried flower.

Speaking of the scents of Cherry blossom or Sakura, they actually can be categorized into two types: One is the fruity scent like berries, peaches, or cherries. The other is the similar scent to “Sakura-mochi”, a Japanese sweet which is a red rice cake wrapped in a salt-pickled Oshima-sakura’s leaf. (This leaf gives off the Sakura fragrance.)
Dried Thoroughwort gives off this scent just as blooming cherry blossoms from an ancient city. In fact, this scent is said to have been loved by Japanese people since the Heian period (about 1,000 years ago).
If you dry Thoroughwort from late August until early September, you can enjoy the wonderful scent of Sakura throughout the fall season.

There are some signs that dried flowers will be trending among young females and many flower shops are now selling dried flowers in Japan.

In the herb family, there are some species pretty suitable to be dried or potpourri, which brings you a scent just like Thoroughwort.

Why not keep your eyes on the new trend of dried flowers?


Japan’s seven flowers of fall

Bush clover
(Japanese clovers)

Japanese pampas grass

(Japanese arrowroot)

Pink dianthus

Golden lace
(Patrinia scabiosifolia)


Balloon flower



These flowers are the representative of the fall season. Their names firstly appeared in the Man’yoshu, the oldest existing edited collection of Japanese poetry.

Original article written by Mr. Masaya Murata