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Located in the city of Sapporo, Hokkaido, ONIYANMA COFFEE&BEER serves a cup of coffee to brighten people’s day, whether they come in for a meal, a chat or a rendezvous. Since its opening in 2016, the specialty coffee shop has been injecting a breath of fresh air into the northern Japanese city. Takehiro Yonezawa, who is responsible for roasting, has brought a brand-new style into Sapporo’s coffee scene. Connections set in motion The store’s logo looks like a casual drawing of oniyanma, or the giant dragonfly, scribbled in pencil. But behind this endearing, gentle brushwork lies a strong determination. “It symbolizes our resolve to win battles,” Yonezawa says. “Hundreds of years ago in Japan, the giant dragonfly was revered as an auspicious bellwether of victory and called ‘kachi-mushi,’ or a victorious insect. Some warlords of yore adorned their helmets with an emblem of the dragonfly. The name is even more apt because we are also aspiring to take off from Hokkaido and fly farther afield. Our president is interested in the Asian market. So he often talks about expanding this business.” ONIYANMA COFFEE&BEER opened in 2016, with a wide-ranging menu of coffees, craft beer, and vegetarian and vegan foods cooked on the premises. Yonezawa joined the shop as a part-timer two months after its inception. Soon afterwards, he became part of the product development team, with the company counting on his over 10-year experience in restaurant kitchens. It was some two years later that Yonezawa, who had always wanted to try his hand in roasting, stepped up to take over the position, after his predecessor and former store manager left and went independent. “I hadn’t...