Introduction of sweet potatoes to Japan
In addition to firearms, Tanegashima is also home to the introduction of something else.
Tanegashima is also the first place where sweet potatoes sent by the Ryukyu Dynasty about 300 years ago were cultivated in Japan. Nakata learned about it when he dropped by Tanegashima Shuzo. He also had the opportunity to see a field where the potatoes to make liquor were organically grown, as the area is suitable for growing sweet potatoes thanks to the flat and mineral-rich soil and mild climate. Having received JAS organic certification, Tanegashima Shuzo has a garden that grows sweet potatoes of better quality by also adding shellfish fossils and enzyme to the soil.
”Shiroyutaka” is very starchy, and is said to take on outstanding sweetness if grown in Tanegashima. ”Anno” is arguably the tastiest of the kind in Japan. ”Tanegashima-murasaki” is also popular as a variety of medicinal potatoes. From these potatoes, tasty ”shochu” is made in the traditional earthen pots with spring water from the underground water that has been flowing since the establishment of the shop in 1902.