A lively drove of kurobuta (Black Berkshire pigs) scampered around a broad expanse of hillside overlooking the Kirishima mountain range. When the elderly owner of the farm appeared, they approached one after another. Just as pigs naturally love to run around freely, they also instinctively want to eat delicious food. The pig feed, developed by the farmer through numerous refinements, is organic and so safe that the farmer first tastes it for himself. His aim has always been to provide his pigs with the most comfortable environment in every respect.

 

The quality of the pork which is produced in this way is completely different from that of regular pork. When the fat is cooked, it is highly transparent, with no unpleasant odor. This “visionary kurobuta pork” can only be produced at this farm. Professionals who insist on safe, high quality ingredients are eager for it, and it is distributed across Japan.


Hayao Okita’s life has been devoted to kurobuta pork since around 1960. Although production of the indigenous Kagoshima breed of kurobuta fell to dangerously low levels at one point due to its low productivity and profitability, he remained committed to its quality. Ever since the “kurobuta boom”, he has worked hard with farmers in the region to protect the “Kagoshima kurobuta” brand.


Pigs know nothing of days of the week, and their breeders do not have a weekend. In the valleys of Kagoshima lives a farmer who continues to strive for ever higher quality, uses all his ingenuity, and spares no effort in his work.

 

Hayao Okita

Born in Isa City, Kagoshima Prefecture, in 1931. In 1996, he received the Prime Minister’s Award, and in 2005, he was awarded the Medal with Yellow Ribbon. He is President of the Kagoshima Kurobuta Producer Conference. His eldest son, Kenji Okita, has taken over the management of the farm, and his grandson Ayumu is also involved in production. The farm is mainly selling whole pig to restaurants and other similar customers, but also offers packs for individual consumers (see Okita Kurobuta Pig Farm’s website for details, in Japanese only).

Spirit and Spine
‘Kitohone’

created by
THE SPIRIT AND SPINE
CREATIVE FORCE,Tokyo

project direction
Gaku Okubo (ISUKE INC.)
photography
Yoshitomo Tanaka (Vivot)
site design
ISUKE INC. and ICA
title calligraphy
Kenryo Hara (Kikkokai)