Why are you here?
From other countries, to Kamiyama
People often remark that there are a lot of foreigners in Kamiyama, but where did they come from? What is it like for them to be living in this town?
Prologue, and the Story of Ikuko Saito
March 30, 2020 release
It’s probably unusual for a Japanese mountain town to have so many non-Japanese people in it. Even if they don’t all have the same reason, why did this person come here? What is that person thinking about as he lives his life in this town?
As a prologue to this series, I first spoke with Ikuko Saito from On y Va.
Manus Sweeney from Ireland
April 6, 2020 release
Manus Sweeney and his partner Sayaka Abe run a little brewery at the foot of a little mountain in Kamiyama, called Kamiyama Beer. It opened in summer of 2018. They moved to Kamiyama from the Netherlands five years ago. It’s a fun place where people often gather.
Rufus Ward from England
April 13, 2020 release
Rufus (Rufus Ward) teaches English at a junior high school in Tokushima while living in Kamiyama with his wife Eri Ito and their 7 year-old son. He’s a laid-back, quiet, deep-thinker (or so he looks to me!). Everyone calls him Ru-san.
Matt Lawson from America
April 20, 2020 release
Lawson (Matt Lawson) moved to Kamiyama in 2015 with his wife and two children. He runs a healthy restaurant called the Buddha Café (yum!) next door to the supermarket located near the high school. He and his wife run the shop while dreaming up all kinds of new business ideas.
Yamandu, Jeannine, Quynh from Nederland, USA
April 27, 2020 release
Yamandu Roos, Jeannine Shinoda, and Quynh Vantu are three former Kamiyama Artist in Residence participants. In spring of 2019, as they were all visiting Kamiyama, so I took the opportunity to ask them, “What makes you keep on coming back here?” and many other questions.
David Gould from New York, USA
May 4, 2020 release
Dave (David Gould) visited Kamiyama from spring of 2018 until May of the following year as a Chef in Residence at the Kamiyama Food Hub Project. He’s a wonderful chef. While experiencing a year of changing seasons in Kamiyama, he brought considerable change to the people of Kamiyama and to himself.
Shinya Ominami, Hideo Sato Born in Kamiyama
May 11, 2020 release
Shinya Ominami and Hideo Sato are two friends, born and raised in Kamiyama. They were also key figures in creating the Kamiyama we know today. They began thirty years ago with the Alice’s Homecoming project in 1990, Kamiyama International Association from 1991, Kamiyama Artist in Residence from 1998, NPO Green Valley from 2004 and more. Their efforts have greatly impacted the Kamiyama we know today.