Development of a Tea Industry in Fuji City
Sencha (Steamed Green Tea) from Fuji City, Japan used to be a prime item for export during the Meiji and Taisho periods (1868-1926). However, prices and the consumption of green tea have been falling. The Fuji Sanroku area is inconveniently located and all of methods of tea production employed were done by hand and therefore cost a lot of money.
At that time, almost all green tea farmers produced green tea at home, however, there was a gap between the rich and the poor. Machine manufacturing of green tea spread from the end of Meiji period to the early Taisho period, and yet almost all tea farmers couldn’t afford to buy the machines needed to manufacture green tea. To solve this problem, they started joint factories and joint selling unions in the early Taisho era.
Green tea producers also separated the tea processing factory workers from the green tea farmers who sold raw leaves. Tea farmers in Fuji City produced raw leaves and sold them to other cities. During the Second World War, the number of green tea plantations in Fuji City were rapidly decreasing because there was a shortage of fertilizer, fuel, and labourers.