About the Authors 私達について

We are two Americans living in Tokyo on a work assignment until 2015. In September, 2011, we decided to make it a goal to visit each of Japan’s 47 prefectures. We are doing this, in our scant free time, in order to better understand rural Japan’s people and agriculture. By venturing out of the city to rarely-traveled places to do farm stays, participate in festivals, and speak with farmers and craftspeople, we get to practice our Japanese and gain insights into a complex and fascinating country. We hope you enjoy these reports. If you have ideas or feedback, please leave a comment or email us at 47japanesefarms@gmail.com

私達は米国のものですが、2015年まで、東京で仕事をする予定です。日本に来て以来、長期目標を作りました。2015年までに全部の都道府県へ行って、田舎の人々や農業について学ぶことです。仕事をしているので、あまり自由時間がないけれど、がんばろうと思っています。まだ日本語を勉強しているので、ブログが間違いでいっぱいだろうと思いますが、もしご意見があったら、コメントをしてください。それから、私達のメ-ルは 47japanesefarms@gmail.com 。よろしくお願いします!


20 Responses to About the Authors 私達について

  1. sarie says:

    Alaska misses you, Sarah! Love from Measure & Me<3!

  2. kin says:

    konnitiwa. I interested in your activities. Would you like to go to YAMAGATA on 13 to15 march if you are free.

  3. Sam says:

    Is radioactive contamination of the food and water supply an issue in Japan (Tokyo and Kyoto area in particular)? I am planning to travel there in April 2012. I am concerned about food safety. Is there something I can do to minimize risk of exposure to contaminated food? Thank you.

    • littlecannoli says:

      Hi Sam: Tokyo and Kyoto are quite far from the site of the Fukushima reactor, and I think you will find when you arrive that life is much the same as it was before the incident a year ago. People really run the gamut in terms of their concerns regarding food safety, but the most cautious people we know, those with very young children for example, tend to read the labels on food items they purchase very carefully, preferring to buy food that is produced in prefectures far from Fukushima. That said, these folks are rather rare in my experience, and many others are content to keep tabs on news but otherwise continue doing things the way they were before 3.11.11. There are some good links on this site that you might wish to check out. http://japan.usembassy.gov/e/p/tp-20110320-02.html

  4. Ramon says:

    I’m loving this plan to visit the 47 prefectures and we cant wait to explore with you both!

    • littlecannoli says:

      Yay! We can’t wait to explore with you and Samia! Email coming your way soon, as we stumbled across a travel idea we want to pitch to you guys re. Your visit. Thanks for checking out the blog!

  5. David Christian says:

    Howdy both of you,
    Wonderful project you have here! I hope you all the best. You may also want to check out wwoof.org which is a nonprofit site to increase knowledge about organic lifestyles across the world. They have hundreds of wonderful locations throughout rural Japan that you can volunteer at, for short periods even, and I saw literally the whole country through WWOOF for literally pennies.

    On a separate note, I took cello lessons in Alaska for years and Linda spoke a great deal about you both. I’m in Tokyo now teaching kindergarten; if you are in the area by all means contact me and we can get some coffee together and chat about the frozen north ^_^

  6. Nahoko Endo says:

    Nice to meet you.
    My name is Nahoko Endo.
    I read your blog. I like your project!
    I hope you are enjoying around Japan:-)


  7. Steph Barton says:

    Hello 🙂

    My name is Steph Barton and I’m currently studying towards a degree in Agribusiness at the University of Queensland in Australia. For one of my final year courses I need to go to Japan and look at the forage seed market and cropping and in a small part, the fruit and vegetable farming as well. I was wondering if you had any farmers around the Tokyo or Miyazaki area that specialise in sorghum or sudangrass farming or vegetable farming. We would also like to know of any rural produce stores in Japan that we may be able to visit to gain an understanding of the types of products that are available to farmers. If you could give us any help at all it would be so greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance. If you would like to contact me directly, my email is stephanie.barton@uqconnect.edu.au

    Kind Regards,
    Stephanie Barton.
    University of Queensland, Australia.

    • littlecannoli says:

      Hi Steph: We don’t know of any farmers who do sorghum or sudangrass farming, but a good place to check is WWOOF Japan, an organization that connects folks with farmers across japan. not sure if you speak Japanese, but one thing that might present a challenge is language. The WWoof website is veiwable in english, though

      A good place to check for local produce is at highway rest stops across Japan, if you are interested in looking at direct sales outlets. Alternately, a more typical model would be the Japan Agriculture (JA) shops that are all over the place throughout Japan. Hope this helps!

  8. Steph Barton says:

    Thankyou soooooo much! I will get in contact with WWOOF today hopefully, we have a translator so language isn’t too much of an issue. Are the stores actually called Japan Agriculture shops? We know Snowbrands have their own outlets and they sell seed through them so we’re going to have a look at a few of their stores as well 🙂 Thankyou so much again! 🙂

  9. TonyJ2 says:

    This is a really great idea you have here.

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  11. Hi Sarah,

    I found out about your 47 farms recently and enjoy reading what you are doing.

    I am with the UAF Cooperative Extension and one project involving Japan is that I help to coordinate the 4H LABO Alaska Japan youth exchange. http://www.uaf.edu/ces/

    Best wishes and keep up the good work!


  12. Catherine says:

    Thanks for sharing your amazing experiences!
    I’m looking forward to your next entry already!

  13. permaprocess says:

    Love the work that you are doing. I’m currently doing research into the CSA model (Community supported agriculture), especially it’s corporate counterpart (ie. providing a group of employees at company with veggie shares in-season). Is CSA popular in Japan? Do farmers sell mostly direct-to-consumer or opt for wholesale and supermarkets? Thanks for your insights! And keep up the awesome work – warm regards from sunny Canada

    • littlecannoli says:

      Hi there!

      Thanks for reading. There is a CSA-like concept called seikyo that actually predates the use of the csa model in the u.s. an american farmer who visited us told us that she was greatly inspired by the seikyo model when starting her csa in oregon. that said, although direct sales and csa-like arrangements are gaining popularity in japan, particularly in places that are famous for specialty products like meat or heirloom veggies, it is not common. there are several reasons for this, but some of the causes include farmers’ traditional reliance on the Japan Agriculture (JA) to do all their marketing and branding, as well as the relatively small size of farms and old age of most farmers here in Japan. Because most farms are small, the CSA model is hard to implement since it woud be hard to achieve the variety we find in the u.s. Since the average age of Japanese farmers is about 66, many are not so technology savvy and are reluctant to change the arrangements they have with JA in favor of something more innovative, and potentially more risky. hope this helps! roshni

  14. permaprocess says:

    When I first learned of CSA in France (where it is called AMAP) they initially told me that it was a philosophy and system taken from Japan. It’s curious that you think small farms wouldn’t be involved in CSA when I’ve seen the opposite in Canada – most small producers opt for CSA as their first choice
    Thank you again for your feedback and best of luck in your Japanese farming adventures!

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