The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

NPO Iwate Research Institution of Children and Environment

Eco-Cabin Creation Project - Lifestyle workshops that enable training on permanent renewable energy homes

Activity grant

Project Description

The Iwate Research Institution of Children and Environment promotes using abandoned school buildings to create facilities where individuals can experience ecological ways of living and farming designed using permaculture principles. To further advance this movement, it aims to create eco-cabins as spaces that visualize the self-sufficient production and consumption of energy, and the use and disposal of water resources, and also provide a venue for live-in training on renewable energy, increasing the functions of the current training center. It hopes that providing a real experience of ecological living to visitors will initiate concrete action on their part, and lead to the creation of a sustainable society.

Climate changeEnergy problem
Grant year
FY2007 Activity Grants
Grant term
3 years
April 2008 - March 2011
Grant amount
14,400,000 yen
Activity region
Kuzumaki, Iwate Prefecture, Japan
Eco-cabins that act as training facilities for living using renewable energy

Overview of the Organization

Nobuo Yoshinari, Director
Nobuo Yoshinari, Director
Establishment purpose
The group was established to use an abandoned school buildings that once served as the focal point of the region to create 'Mori to Kaze no Gakko' (school of forest and wind) as a new space for creating and advocating the implementation of regional models that will revitalize life for children and adults using new ideas based on the themes of 'renewable energy and reusing regional resources', 'creating living spaces for children', and 'new agricultural lifestyles', under the movement's philosophy of 'no waste, thankfulness, and cooperation'.
Main area of activity
Iwate Prefecture, Japan
4 full-time staff members, 1 part-time staff member, 120 full members
Annual operating budget
4.63 yen million in 2005, 5.15 million yen in 2006, 13.29 million yen in 2007
WEB site
Recent activities
Mori to kaze no Gakko, an eco-school that uses an abandoned school building in a hamlet of 10 households 700m above sea-level, opened the Iwate Research Institution of Children and Environment in 2001 with cooperation from Kazumaki city. It advances the creation of facilities and activities where individuals can experience, enjoy, and learn realistic, recycling-based lifestyles that use renewable energy, under the institute's slogan of 'no waste and thankfulness'. It has also built an environmentally-friendly cafe that has a composting toilet, a Japanese-style bath made from empty cans, biomass equipment, and an effluence purifier. The institute studies lifestyles and living spaces in Northern Europe, and searches for a way forward that connects the past to the future. In addition to being one of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology's '50 case-studies of abandoned schoolhouse renewals', it has also been awarded the Mainichi Shimbun's 'Regional Autonomy Promotion Grand Prize' (Kazumaki).