With the overwhelming influence of climate change around the world, satoyama has become the buzzword for all citizens trying to stop it. Repositioning humans as a part of nature and all living creatures on earth, the satoyama concept, which is unique to Japan, has emerged. It urges all dwellers to lend cautious ears to the wilderness nearby and consciously change the environment so both humans and the surrounding nature can thrive. This concept has been gathering empathy from other countries as a mutually advantageous relationship. The concept has further evolved in Japan as “satoyama capitalism” and supporters of this new economic policy are increasing. By utilizing resources of the satoyama, namely the culture, history and people nurtured by the nature and their surroundings, the community will gain wealth that is not limited to currency. The younger generations, who have seen the vicious cycle of the rise and fall of bubble economies, have grown to loath the modern economy, which has been built on gaining wealth through any means. In rejection of that, the younger generation has embarked on new projects in regions of Japan where the population has dwindled that have become labeled as “soon to be impoverished” municipalities. These younger people are pioneers in creating a new economy that is beneficial for both humans and nature and does not eliminate people through fierce competition. This movement is what I would like to support and follow this year, as I have done in the past.
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