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Strong in the Rain Paints a Portrait of Survival

Monday, March 11, 2013

The aftermath of a natural disaster is no simple affair. Even in Japan, a country long accustomed to earthquakes and the tsunamis that inevitably follow, there is an element of unpredictability. The 9.0 magnitude quake that struck on March 11th, 2011, brought with it a tsunami the likes of which had not been seen for 500 years.  Still, it was the nuclear wild card that threw this country of calm and order, the one most prepared for such kinds of calamities, into new realms of environmental degradation, community displacement,... 

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Detail of a screen at Koyasan.

Sustainable Living Tips from Japan: A Review of Azby Brown’s Just Enough

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Detail of a screen at Koyasan. As the world faces a future of global warming, increasing economic disparity, and a fiery mix of political turmoils, Azby Brown asks us to take a moment to look back to find the solutions. Just Enough: Lessons in Living Green from Traditional Japan (Kodansha, 2009) takes readers on an intimate tour of Edo Period Japan (1603-1898). In it, Brown points out that then as now, Japan faced severe environmental degradation, economic crises, and a discontented population. Yet, shortly after the... 

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Aroma from the Forests of Japan

Sunday, February 3, 2013

> See all Yuica aroma products > See all Kotoha hair care products Taking Care of Our Forests It is perhaps a little-known fact, but approximately 67% of Japan’s land is covered by trees, making Japan the world’s second most forested country, following Finland. While rainforests in Southeast Asia and South America are fast disappearing, Japan still maintains an abundance of healthy forests. Most of the forests in Japan, however, are either planted forests or “second-growth” forests (like the one you see... 

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At work in one of Peace Boat's gardens. 
Photo courtesy of Ikumi Sasaki.

Growing New Life in Ishinomaki with Peace Boat

Thursday, January 31, 2013

At work in one of Peace Boat’s gardens.Photo courtesy of Ikumi Sasaki. A garden, as every gardener knows, is more than just plants and dirt. A person might first turn the soil out of a desire to save a few pennies or to taste a rare variety of tomato or pepper. The garden often moves beyond plants and harvest to become a beloved space, one where the cares of the day get worked into the soil and tossed in the compost bin. Later, they emerge as surplus fruit shared with neighbors or a bright bouquet picked for a... 

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Indian woman harvesting bioRe organic cotton.
Photo copyright Panoco Organic Cotton/Remei AG.

More than Cotton: bioRe’s Organic Initiative

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Following is the first in a new series of articles about organizations doing a bit of ecotwaza, using traditional practices with a modern twist, to achieve sustainability. We like to think of these global initiatives with a very local focus as going ‘glocal.’ bioRe, the company where IKT sources the organic cotton used to make their wonderful towels, seemed like a perfect place to begin. – The ecotwaza Team Indian woman harvesting bioRe organic cotton.Photo copyright Panoco Organic Cotton/Remei AG. It... 

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Articles

Strong in the Rain Paints a Portrait of Survival

Monday, March 11, 2013
strong in the rain cover image

The aftermath of a natural disaster is no simple affair. Even in Japan, a country long accustomed to [read more]

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Workshops

Japanese gardening philosophy in small potting ‘yoseue’

Sunday, December 2, 2012
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Sho = pine tree Chiku = bamboo Bai = plum tree Above three plants are known to represent “good [read more]

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Makers' Window

A collaboration

Monday, February 11, 2013
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A small collaboration between Sumi Eco Paper and Bocchan Soap. Hata-so-shoten, the soap manufacturer [read more]

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STAFF DIARY

Childrens’ Books Revived

Wednesday, January 9, 2013
books

I visited my parents place today, and was surprised to see four boxes loaded with childrens’ b [read more]

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