Kagoshima entrepreneur calls for crowdfunding support for Amami’s traditional drink Miki

PUBLISHED Feb 14, 2022

Mariko Maki and her new product “Hakko MOON”

Mariko Maki, an entrepreneur from Amami Oshima, is currently calling for support for a project on the crowdfunding site CAMPFIRE to promote Amami’s traditional fermented drink “Miki.”

Miki is a fermented beverage made from rice and sweet potatoes. In Amami and Okinawa, it is drunk during traditional sacred ceremonies, and it used to be prepared at home in the past. Maki lived in a metropolitan area from the age of 15 to 25 but had health problems due to exhaustion and stress. She recalled that her grandmother, who lived to be 103 years old, used to drink Miki and decided to prepare it herself and try it, which helped improve her health. Her own experience inspired her to promote Miki throughout Japan, and she continues to work from her base in Kagoshima City.

In 2020, Maki commercialized “Kiminimiki,” a bottled drink adapted from Miki, failing to expand its sales channels as it had to be kept refrigerated and had a short shelf life of two weeks. Based on this experience, she developed “Hakko MOON,” a new Miki drink that can be stored at room temperature for three months. Hakko MOON is a fruit-based beverage that comes in five flavors: plain, passion fruit, roselle, dragon fruit, and moringa.

On February 7, she started the crowdfunding project on CAMPFIRE. Available rewards include Frozen Original Miki Set; Hakko Moon Set (4, 5, or 14 bottles); or Hakko Moon Set with Miki making ingredients and a Zoom workshop ticket. Prices range from 3,000 yen to 15,000 yen.

“To make Amazake, we put rice koji in it, but not in Miki. Amylases in raw sweet potatoes play an important role in Miki making. Miki can be ready in a few days. In the future, I want to teach people how to make it at home,” said Maki. “For now, we invite you to try our newly-launched Miki,” she added.

The crowdfunding project closes at 23:59 on February 27.

  • Miki - a traditional beverage in Amami Island