A ceremony to present the Green-White Achievement Award, which is for individuals who show a remarkable contribution to the agriculture industry, was held recently at the official consular residence in Los Angeles’ Hancock Park.
This year, Hiroshi Kageyama from Southern California, whose family has been engaged in the nursery business for decades, was selected as a recipient for this honor. With family and friends in attendance, he was awarded the certificate and medal of commendation by Consul General Jun Niimi.
Agricultural achievement awards were established by Japan’s Agricultural Committee in the 14th year of Meiji (1881) to improve the country’s agriculture industry. There are three different types: Purple-White, Red-White, and Green-White. They are given to individuals whose dedication is extraordinary.
Prince Katsuranomiya governs the committee as its sixth head. Awardees are selected from Japan and North America every year.
This year, 59 people were selected from Japan and two from overseas, one from Southern California and one from Northern California.
At the ceremony, Niimi said, “Mr. Kageyama has not only contributed to the promotion of agriculture and U.S.-Japan mutual understanding, but has also been engaged in the nursery business for over three generations and led it to success. He deserves to be recognized.”
Niimi also mentioned the story of Kageyama’s late parents, who experienced many struggles during World War II, and declared that they “must be very happy and proud.”
Having received the award in the presence of his wife Betty, daughter Diane, President Frank Harada of the Southern California Landscape/Nursery Union, and President Sumiyoshi Nozaki of Japan’s Agricultural Committee, Southern California Branch, Kageyama stated, “This is a tremendous honor and is more than I deserve.” He added that he wished his parents were there “because they were the ones who founded the nursery and overcame numerous hardships.” He dedicated the award to them.
Still family-owned, the F.K. Nursery is presently managed by Kageyama’s children.
When the nursery was first established, there were many Japanese residing in the area who demanded Japanese-style garden plants and thus became the nursery’s primary customers. Also, the residents of wealthy neighborhoods like Beverly Hills and Santa Monica maintained gardens, which boosted business.
F.K. Nursery was loved by people in the area because of its reputation of providing abundant types of high-quality pants. The Kageyama family has contributed to much of the beautification of the area.
Shinkichi Koyama, who received the same award in 2009, offered his congratulations, saying, “It is very rare in the Japanese community for a family to persist in the nursery business for over three generations. Mr. Kageyama’s dedication of the award to his parents was very touching. He sounded like a person from the first or second generation — that spirit must be the secret to success.”