What is Nagakuteyuimaaru?

”Nagakuteyuimaaru” introduces individuals, groups, stores, and organizations around Nagakute city area, including farmers and people involved in farming who produce organic vegetables as well as people who value “locally produce and locally consume” and people who work for the community and facilitate communication among the residents in the area through art, music, food, welfare, childrearing, education, and nature conservation activities.  We hope we provide updated information of community and an opportunity to meet new people and communicate each other.

“Yuimaaru” is a word created by combining two words “Yui” meaning “working together” and “Maaru” meaning “circle”. It is Okinawan word meaning “live together, exist together, and help each other.” We hope “Nagakuteyuimaaru” helps everyone in our community live together successfully.

 


 

Categories

Farming

In this category, we introduce people who started farming after retirement, mothers who take care of children and at the same time make vegetables at house gardens, and organic farmers.  Nagakute is suitable for farming because there are many rice patties and farm lands. It is close to market too, so farmers can deliver their produce while they are fresh. Farming can be done by utilizing any size of land and people can start farming after retirement or while taking care of children.

 

Eating

In this category, we update information of restaurants that sell local produce and use such produce for their dishes. In Nagakute, there are many farmers who produce vegetables and cereals that people can trust and eat safely.  Food is a source of healthiness and tasty meal can make people happy. People get along better when they cook together too. Also, people can feel the connection to our community by eating local produce.

 

Nature experience

In this category, we introduce groups that are engaged in nature conservation activities and provide nature experiences. Nagakute is suitable for nature experience because there is abundance of nature left in the area. You can contribute to nature conservation while relaxing your body and mind by being active and be engaged in these activities in nature

 

Festivals and events

There are many festivals in Nagakute because it has a long history and old traditions. You can be more proud of your own community by understanding your community’s culture and tradition. Nagakute hosts many events too. These festivals and events create communication among residents in the area

 

Art and Music

There are many musicians, art galleries and art schools that originated in Nagakute and stay put in the area. You can have more relaxed life by having art and music. Art and music play an important role in facilitating communication too. The good thing about art and music is that adults and children alike can enjoy them just the same

 

Welfare

In this category, we introduce groups or organizations that are in the area and are engaged in welfare while utilizing farming. People who have disability or senior can participate in farming on their own pace and it is very effective from welfare stand point of view.

 

Children

In this category, we introduce groups that educate children through farming. There are many farm lands and nature left in Nagakute, so it is suitable for children to experience farming. Farming is very important because farming can provide food that are safe and can be trusted and therefore can be eaten by our children.

 

Gardening

Gardening is very popular in Nagakute. Anyone can enjoy gardening. Gardening makes the town’s landscape more beautiful. People can live a healthier life by touching flowers and greens created by gardening.

 


 

This website aims to share information about local art, music, farming, and dining in Nagakute, Aichi prefecture, Japan. In Japan, communication between fellow local citizens is weakening; therefore, this website is an attempt to stimulate communication between local residents and create a recycling-oriented community.

In 2011, a nuclear power plant accident occurred in the Japanese prefecture of Fukushima. The resulting release of radioactivity led to local soil contamination, thereby forcing the collapse of the regional community as many people were compelled to leave their land. This reminded us of the importance of regional communities in protecting the land we live on. Further, the radiation contaminated many agricultural products, which has led to increased concerns about agricultural product safety. On a related but different note, as in many other towns, communication between the citizens in Nagakute has weakened. Although many people conduct grassroots activities for the regional community, running small businesses and cultivating safe vegetables within the region, information about these activities is not being successfully shared across the region.

Therefore, a website was created for sharing information about local resident activities. This website has posted various local stories about organic farmers, locally sourced restaurants, welfare institutions involved in farming, environmentally oriented gardening companies, environmental education groups, community based cafes, and local galleries and musicians. As art, design and music play a particularly significant role in stimulating communication between local residents; thus, these areas have been emphasized. This website publishes basic information about the groups such as their names, addresses, pictures, brief summaries, maps, websites, and Facebook URLs. It has also published interview footage and RSS feeds distributed in blogs. The site has also made it possible to post information about each group or gallery event. The website also has several pages that are useful for business or sales. On the farmer’s page, there is a farm hand recruiting form and a form to sell agricultural products. Also, a catering request form is on the culinary page.

The website has been very popular and is regularly accessed. In addition, requests to cover stories in the local area have increased and are actively pursued. Local residents enthusiastically share their activities and thoughts through interviews. This rising interest demonstrates that information about local activities has not been spread adequately and that the residents are eager to disseminate information on a wider scale.

Many people in Japan are still living at evacuation sites because of the nuclear power plant accident, which means that the accident has not yet ended. However, underlying the nuclear power plant accident is the fact that our own lives and that of the regional communities have been entrusted to strangers, which can be observed through our dependence on huge systems such as nuclear power plants. Therefore, it is important to create recycling-oriented communities that are regionally self-sufficient in terms of economy, energy, agriculture, food, art, music, and the raising of children. This would allow communities to be independent of huge systems such as nuclear power plants and become more self-reliant. Therefore, it is important to create initial connections and information exchange between fellow local residents through electronic media such as this website.

Haruo Ishii
Aichi University of the Arts