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Strong in the Rain Paints a Portrait of Survival

strong in the rain cover image

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... Read More

Growing New Life in Ishinomaki with Peace Boat

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

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... Read More

Japanese gardening philosophy in small potting ‘yoseue’


Sho = pine tree Chiku = bamboo Bai = plum tree Above three plants are known to represent “good luck” and “happiness” in Japan. Given this, Sho Chiku Bai are used for New Year’s decoration. If you are free on this coming Saturday, Dec. 8th, and happen to be around Tokyo, why don’t you come join Mr. Sakai’s New Year’s ‘good... Read More

Only paper, yet with million possibilities


It all started in 2005, when Akiyoshi Yamada, representative of Fukunaga Print Co (located in Tachikawa) visited ”Tsukushi Stationer”, which was in the neighborhood and had just reopened recently. The second heir owner, Shuu Hagiwara was a design director, and before stepping into the shoes of a stationer, he worked at a major printing company. Yamada used to work in the apparel... Read More

More than Cotton: bioRe’s Organic Initiative

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

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... Read More

Growing Solutions in Tohoku with Aquaponics


As Aragon St-Charles watched footage of the tsunami triggered by the March 11th earthquake in Japan sweeping across the landscape from his still shaking Tokyo home, he could hardly believe his eyes. Two days later, he watched again as explosions rocked the heavily damaged Daiichi Power Plant. Farmers and producers, some representing the 16th generation of a family to work the land,... Read More

GREEN LEADERS FORUM -SUMMER- June 4, 2012 7pm-9:30pm


■ CONCEPT OF THE GREEN LEADERS FORUM (GLF) Through this forum, we will connect global environmental issues to our own daily lives. Each session will address a common issue and consist of two parts; 1) a talk session by specialists / entrepreneurs / academics to provide an overview of an issue and 2) a workshop to discuss and provide practical environmental solutions from the... Read More

A conference on Sustainable Development: The End of Business as We Know it….?

It was the pleasure of the Eco+waza team to be invited to attend the recent conference organised by the European Business Council in Japan (EBC) on ‘The End of Business as We Know it: Perspectives on Sustainable Development’. This was the first of its kind to be organised by the EBC and the line-up of speakers was impressive. Topping the guest list for the afternoon... Read More

This House of Straw: The Story of Square One

straw house

If it weren’t for a touch of insomnia, Toby and Maiko Weymiller’s dream home might still be just a dream. Up early one morning, Toby wandered out to the living room in their Seattle apartment, and picked up a book from the coffee table. Lent by a friend a few months before who knew of their search for land and desire to build sustainably, they hadn’t had a chance... Read More

Video: Toko Tomita from AMNESTY


Video streaming by Ustream Human rights and environmental issues. These two huge issues tend to be thought of as two different fields. However many problems nowadays are sharing both aspects. Our guest today is Toko Tomita from Amnesty International, Japan. Toko talks about the “Niger-delta” issue, an environmental and human rights issue still occuring in Nigeria. Program... Read More