Tsuyoshi was the elder in a delegation from Japan that came to visit the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska, and became an instant friend. Their goal is to develop a strategy for the revitalization of Japan’s rural sector. Tsuyoshi is executive director of the Kamiechigo Yamazato Fan Club. Started in 2002 in partnership with local residents, the club works in a small community in the mountainous area of Joestu. Their mission is to protect the local culture, and to encourage the local residents to become proactive, self-reliant, and self-sufficient while exploring ways to connect the community with urbanites through farming schools and nature programs. I loved it when he admonished his younger colleagues, “It’s not all about economics!”
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