Tomoko Arakawa, Director of ARI, writes an editorial for Shimotsuke Shimbun, “Considering Japan’s Food Self-Sufficiency”

Tomoko Arakawa, our Director, has joined the writing team of a local newspaper, Shimotsuke Shimbun Sunday Editorial Board for the six months from this February.

The first time she wrote an editorial titled “Toward a Society Where Foreigners and Japanese Can Live Together in Harmony.” The subject of this time’s issue was “Thinking about Japan’s Food Self-Sufficiency.

Food is life. Why don’t you first calculate your own food self-sufficiency ratio today? You will discover many things by knowing the security of your own life.

– Excerpt from “Considering Japan’s Food Self-Sufficiency”

Arakawa considers Japan’s food self-sufficiency and talks about how food is life.

ARI’s work with agriculture and food is called “Foodlife”. The reason for this is that “food” and “life” are inseparable.

ARI is thinking about “Food Sovereignty”. Food sovereignty, as we see it, is the right to decide for oneself what food to put in one’s mouth, what to grow, what to eat, and how to live.

Participants learn about the importance of food sovereignty through self-sufficiency practices and training programs.

By accumulating “practical knowledge” on how to effectively utilize resources generated from farms and barns without waste, participants learn know-how that they can apply in their own rural communities.

Working together with others to accomplish what one cannot do alone, i.e., to fill one’s stomach while being needed by others, to nurture human dignity, and eventually to bring peace through mutual respect. Thus, through the practice of “foodlife,” “peace from the soil” is instilled in our participants.

Valuing life and its diversity as it circulates in nature, we create, cook, and share healthy food and give thanks daily for its bounty.

While loving God, people, and nature, we will sweat together to cultivate the soil and learn together through the practice of food self-sufficiency, including food sovereignty, climate justice, and disaster resilient agriculture.

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