How will we live in the age of with corona? In addition to climate change and Fukushima, we need to take a sincere look at the reality we are facing now, and live out the future brightly and powerfully with people from all over the world.
It is with this hope that GEN-Japan’s online series, “Creating communities and Surviving Together,” will be held from January to March 2021.
GEN-Japan, which started as a non-profit organization in 2016, has been actively promoting awareness of eco-villages and localization for the past three years, in collaboration with Keibo Shin’ichi Tsuji, a well-known cultural anthropologist and an activist of Local Future Japan.
GEN-Japan has been organizing EDE and consulting on community building in various regions as well as actively promoting eco-villages and localization for the last three years.
This three-month project, we were able to deepen the relationship among more than 20 practitioners of ecovillages, localization, and transition activities who agree with our aims, and connect with a total of 500 citizens and younger generations who are looking for their future way of life. Especially, Helena Norberg=Hodge appear to give the great speech. She is a director of the organization, Local Future, “Human has amazing ability in genes. Essentially we can live such community living as a big one family. People around the world are restoring ecosystems with their own well-being by strengthening their communities and localizing their economies. People have the power to do this.
This project has led to the birth of new eco-villages and communities that want to join the Network, the start of new online projects in cooperation, and mutual visits and information sharing in preparation for Earth Day in April and World Localization Day in June. The role of GEN-Japan as a platform is expected to grow further.
It is certain that this movement will lead to the survival of the human race, and at the same time, to the blossoming of a rich humanity in harmony with the Earth throughout the world, and a chance to open up a new civilization with a fundamental joy of life.
In the depths of the crisis of climate and corona, the silence, the darkness, the heaviness, the anxiety, the loneliness, even the resentment, feed us.
It is time to step into a new story that has been fermenting in each of us like miso.
From separation to relationship. From separation to connection.
Let’s find ourselves as “Aida” everywhere and meet each other in “Aida” communities.by Shin-ichi Tsuji
The first event, on January 15; The keynote speech by Shin’ichi Tsuji: “The Next World Opened up by “Aida” , and the world-historical perspective of Pracha Hutanuwar, led us to deeply explored the view of humanity and society that is the basis for the realization of a sustainable world. Many of the participants looked up and started to move towards the next step.
Some words from participants….
Somehow, humans have been destroying the “space between”. Also, “I don’t know” is not allowed anymore. This, Tsuji pointed out, is the reason for the various problems in our society today.
Today, we take it for granted that “I” and “you” exist separately and independently, and we are forgetting that there is a vast “space” between us. For example, even the hundreds of trillions of bacteria and microorganisms in our bodies and in the air interact with each other and create new existence while nurturing the “aida”. At the base of all this, are we also “one of the beings that have appeared”? The culture and community became a device that could accept the overwhelming “unknowability” of the whole. (Female, 30s)
Tsuji quoted Satoru Saishu’s words about “Duality. In the first place, “I” is not given to us “from the beginning. I think. I am not the “I” of separation seen through the selfish attitude of “I think, therefore I am,” but rather “I am your you. I am a being that is connected to all. We are inseparable from ourselves and others.
And he gave us a message to encourage us.
Let’s regain the “Aida” that is not just “Subject” and “Object.
You and I are one, and we are connected.
Don’t be afraid to enter into the “aida” without fear of not knowing.
And let’s build a community!
I’m very motivated.(Male in his 30s)
In February, 16 localizers and eco-village builders from as far south as Okinawa and as far north as Hokkaido, who support the purpose of this series, appeared. Following the themes to create something new raised by Shinichi Tsuji, they presented their activities and issues in five groups. Amena Bal introduced the activities of GENOA. and on the last day, Giovanni Charlo, the director of Gaia Education, introduced EDE, a human resource development program to nurture people who can actually build communities. Finally, facilitated by Tsuji and Hiroko Katayama of GENJapan, representatives of major movement organizations such as Permaculture, Transition, As One Network and Workers Co-op, all drew the mutual future activities.
Few words from speakers
“Although we have heard of each other, we were able to communicate to understand sincerely this time.”
“I gained confidence in the direction of this movement”
“A deep realization that we can all advance the movement together by demonstrating our own strengths, and the reassurance and trust,” “ It was a really warm and good time that we shared together”.
Localization in Japan
Friday, February 19, 8:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
(Facilitator) Shin-ichi Tsuji, Hiroko Katayama
Initiatives in Isumi City (greenz.jp, Nao Suzuki) / Activities to connect the forest and the sea in Itoshima ( NPO Itonami, City council member, Yoshihiro Fujii)
Initiatives in Kamogawa (Chiba pref. Yoshiki Hayashi)
Ecovillage in Japan
Saturday, February 20, 13:30 – 16:30
(Facilitator) Daisuke Yoshitake, Takaaki Kumakura, Hiroko Katayama
(Talk) Tetra Tanizaki
UMIKAZE (Kento Ito) / WA Island (Shin Kunugiza) / Misumi Eco Village Saihate (Sink Kudo) / Yoichi Eco Village (Junka Sakamoto) / As One Suzuka Community (Ryu Kishinami)
“Welfare and Child Care Create a Community
Saturday, February 20, 20:00 – 22:15
(Facilitator) Hirosui No Seiketsu: From the perspective of community building
From the perspective of community building (Ryo Yamazaki) / Nasu Machizukuri Hiroba (Takaaki Kaburaki)
General Incorporated Association Sukoyaka-no-Wa (Kyoko Kibayashi) / NPO Sachi House (Maki Kawamura)
The Future of Living and Creating a Place for Learning
Sunday, February 21, 10:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
(Facilitator) Sawyer Kai (Hiroko Katayama)
Well Yokodai (Hirotaka Toya) / Yakushima Earth Tribe (Hiromi Suzuki)
Dana Village (Minori Ogawa) / Permaculture and Peace Dojo (Sawyer Umi)
The Future of Localization and Ecovillages in Japan
Sunday, February 21, 13:30 – 16:30
(Facilitator) Shin-ichi Tsuji, Hiroko Katayama
EDE (Gaia Education CEO) Giovanni Ciarlo
Transition Town (Toshiro Yoshida) / As One Network (Masashi Ono)
Permaculture (Shinji Yotsui) / Workers’ Co-op (Nobuhiro Tamaki)
On March 19, the last month of the Big Gathering, Helena Norberg-Hodge took the stage. and said, “At this time, people around the world are restoring ecosystems with their own well-being by strengthening their communities and localizing their economies. People have the power to do this. Helena is a linguist, founder and president of Local Future, a global non-profit organization, and is world-renowned for her book “Ancient Future” and the movie “The Economics of Happiness”.
On March 20, Henry Coleman, a 25-year-old project leader of Local Future, called for participation in the World Localization Day in June, Ngothao Kin from GENOA introduced the activities of NEXTGENOA, and Wang Shan from Shanghai gave a presentation on localization in China. Wang Shan, a native of Shanghai, introduced the state of localization in China.
As a model case of localization, As One Suzuka Community was introduced, and we discussed how we can cooperate with them to promote the movement.
Tsuji, Sawyer Kai, Azumi Nozaki, and Masashi Ono discussed how to create communities where children and the younger generation can live freely in the future.
At the end of the session, ten community building practitioners from around Japan who took the stage in February, appeared at the finale with their friends and families in each site. They sent messages of congratulations to each other.
GEN-Japan will continue to provide more opportunities to freely discuss what is needed to create a healthy community. With the cooperation of many of you, we were able to make this a three-month series to begin with. I would like to thank all of them and at the same time, I would like to work to further strengthen our ties and foster cooperation toward the realization of a sustainable and conflict-free world.
By Hiroko Katayama
GEN-Japan Executive Director
Hiroko Katyama is the Executive Director of GEN-Japan, an
established non-profit organization since 2016. She has been
actively working in building trust and network among people and
organizations that has purpose along the line of social and
environmental regeneration for five years. Sensing into the current
context and wishing for a clear vision to a regenerative future, she
and her team have been planning and facilitating this online event
since last fall, and achieving it with a lot of support.