KAZUHARU KINA Creates New Tea Girl Character Illustrations for “Moe-Cha Project"

KAZUHARU KINA, renowned for his illustrations of black-haired girls, has revealed a new character, Misa Hatsushiro, as part of the Japanese tea promotion campaign, Misakubo Jakata Moeka Project. Goods featuring this promotional character are now being sold in stores across Japan.

Tea has long been one of Japan’s traditional beverages. The area that produces most of Japan’s tea is Shizuoka Prefecture. Approximately 33 thousand tons of tea are produced there each year, which accounts for 40 percent of the Japanese tea market. Shizuoka is said to have been making tea for over 500 years. This latest project is part of a PR campaign to promote tea from Misakubo, a town in the corner of Shizuoka that produces high quality tea. Kina was charged with making the "moe-chara” illustration to tickle the hearts of otaku everywhere.

Kina says that he was contacted directly by tea makers to make the illustration. “At first I drew something only to be featured locally at tea shops near Misakubo Station. But then since I had made this new “moe-cha” character, we thought that using her on the packaging could make the tea stand out, and maybe then we could even sell it in Tokyo or other areas of Japan."

Kina says that he tried to keep the concept of tea front and center: “I focused on making the package something that adequately expresses the idea of tea. I thought that the tea fields in Shizuoka (and the girls who work there) would be a good fit. I also wanted to make it appeal to more people than just those who are fans of Japanese illustrations. I tried to make something that was attractive to families and tourists, as well as anime fans."

The result of Kina’s effort to create a relatable character is black-haired beauty Misa Hatsushiro. With tea leaves in her right hand and an adorable smile, she almost makes your heart stop. “The tea shop that contacted me already had many ideas in mind for what kind of character she should be, so I incorporated those into my illustration,” Kina recalls. “I am actually already working on a second character. She’s going to be a potato farm girl––a real energetic friend of Misa Hatsushiro that is always helping her along."

Moe-Cha Project goods are now available at Gift Shop The AkiBa, and can be ordered domestically from online retailers like Ito Tea Shop and JikuChu. Additionally, Animate stores in Akihabara, Shizuoka, and Osaka Nipponbashi plan to sell the Misakubo tea (with the Misa Hatsushiro packaging) in the near future. Why not pick some up as a unique souvenir from Japan?

Ito Tea Shop
JikuChu
Gift Shop The AkiBa
KAZUHARU KINA's TOM Portfolio Page

©KAZUHARU KINA ©Ito Tea Shop

Misa Hatsushiro ©KAZUHARU KINA ©Ito Tea Shop
Misa Hatsushiro ©KAZUHARU KINA ©Ito Tea Shop
Misa Hatsushiro ©KAZUHARU KINA ©Ito Tea Shop
Misa Hatsushiro ©KAZUHARU KINA ©Ito Tea Shop

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