The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Citizen meeting for the activation and revival of rural towns

Creation of community in cooperation with learning and labor-type tourism and rice paddy conservation in Shiraitodai area in Yamamoto town

Activity grant

Project Description

Terraced rice fields in Shiraitodai area in Yamato town, Kumamoto Prefecture, have been chosen as an important Cultural Landscape in Japan. They are falling into difficulties from maintenance and recovery due to a combination of 2016 heavy rain damage, the Kumamoto earthquake, multiple cases of farmers leaving the industry, damage from harmful animals, and aging farmers. This has led to the implementation of activities to bring in the power of farming volunteers and interns for rice paddy conservation. In collaboration with local women's groups, learning and labor-type tourism sessions are held to experience environment conservation-type agriculture to increase interest in the local farming. In the long term, these activities aim to increase permanent residents by organizing agricultural volunteer groups and cultivating leaders. [No. K17-1068]

Ecosystems and the Symbiotic Society
Grant year
FY2017 Activity Grants
Grant term
Three years (From October 2017 to September 2020)
Grant amount
7 million yen
Activity region
Shiraitodai area in Yamato-town, Kumamoto Prefecture
The great power of women; Yamanma-no-kai's Representative Misato Shimoda and women harvesting

Overview of the Organization

Representative: Hiroshi Furukawa
Project organization
Citizen meeting for the activation and revival of rural towns
Representative Director, Supervisor: Sadao Tokuno
Establishment Purpose
While many people are participating in supporting local reconstruction efforts, and various volunteer groups are starting to assist with recovery from the Kumamoto earthquake, over time the burden of the maintenance and operation of these groups will continue to increase. This organization will carry out intermediary support for these sorts of groups and carry out medium-long term recovery support.
Recent Activities
  • Operational support for Nishihara Village agricultural volunteer groups
  • Regional promotional support, support for Mifune town disaster reconstruction
  • T-type settlement inspection, assistance to Yamato-town Yamanma-no-kai
Number of Full-time employee: 1 / Number of Part timers: 5 / Number of Members: 50
Voice of Representative
Depopulation is a common problem in the countryside, and while the waves of aging have hit, the environment and landscape of the beautiful rice paddies which have been maintained until now are being lost due to the Kumamoto earthquake and heavy rainfall. Through volunteering and tourism, we want to cultivate a viewpoint of everyone protecting the environment and landscape having been engaged in this restoration.