Miss Peaches hold reunion to promote fruit（ミスピーチ「同窓会」 世代超え名産ＰＲ）
Clad in pink uniforms, about 50 former Miss Peaches gathered at JR Fukushima Station as part of a reunion event, handing out peaches to rail passengers on the station platforms to promote the Fukushima Prefecture specialty.
About 100 people who have served as Miss Peach took part in the reunion on Aug. 12, the first such event to be held since 2012.
Since 1963, the many Miss Peaches have helped promote the fruit of the prefecture. The reputations of the prefecture's products suffered deeply after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing nuclear accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, but Miss Peaches have poured their hearts into promoting the Fukushima fruit.
At a reunion party held in Fukushima city, former Miss Peach members -- who combined have over a half-century of experience to share -- engaged in animated conversations about the past.
Hidemi Sakamoto, a Miss Peach from the program's 41st year, joined the promotion event at Fukushima Station with her daughter Rino.
"I live far from Fukushima now, but that fact makes Fukushima peaches even more special to me," said Sakamoto, who served the role in 2003 when she was 18. She currently lives in Musashino, Tokyo.
"More than six years have passed since the disaster and the nuclear accident, but I am happy that I became able to promote peaches again," she added.
An inaugural member took part in the reunion party as well. Hiroko Sato became Miss Peach － although the title was "Momo Musume" (peach girl) at that time － because she was looking for a part-time job as a sophomore at Fukushima University in 1963.
Sato who now lives in Kitakata, Fukushima Prefecture, said she had initially imagined that taking on the persona would mean being a street merchant like Tora-san, the popular hero of the "Otoko wa Tsuraiyo" (It's Tough Being a Man) movie series, who is known for his itinerant lifestyle. "However, what I did was totally different," Sato said.
This was before the Shinkansen bullet train service started, so Sato, wearing a sleeveless, all-ivory uniform, carried peaches in a woven basket and sold them with a smile to passengers of limited express trains.
"What I took part in at the time was a brand-new project, but I somehow managed to handle my job," said Sato, smiling. "The experience gave me a backbone."
（ Translated by The Japan News ）
【 ２０１７年８月１３日付・福島民友新聞掲載 】
- Post office destroyed by tsunami reopens 11 years later（津波で全壊の郵便局、11年ぶり再開）
- Teenage soccer player determined to chase glory on German team（ドイツで栄光を目指す）
- ３ generations work to restore confidence in fishing（親子３代、水産業復活に挑む）
- JR East to farm shrimp at station to create new local industry （駅でエビ養殖、新たな地場産業に）
- Guesthouse owner aims to build ties between S. Korea, Fukushima（韓国と福島つなぐ家に）
- Clinical radiologist uses manga, TV to raise awareness（放射線、漫画やテレビで伝える）
- Todai student returns to education center as teacher(東大生、寺子屋に恩返し）
- Local farm pioneers new specialty of peach-fed pork(モモで育てた豚肉誕生）
- Community-based bakery warms up 100-year-old house（地域に根差す古民家パン店）
- Fukushima orchard is home to 'cider shrine'（福島の果樹畑にサイダーの聖地）