Change the world
through rural communities.

Opening Ceremony Livestream Begins from 13:00 JST

Once a grassroots leader is nurtured,
a rural community moves a step forward.

Once a rural community changes,
the world moves a step forward.

ARI 50th Anniversary Greeting

Celebrate the Year of Jubilee!

Toshimasa Yamamoto, Chair of the board, ARI

 ARI celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

    We express our deep respect and gratitude to one of the founders of ARI, Rev. Toshihiro Takami, and the many predecessors who laid the foundation of ARI, along with all those who have inherited his wishes and have worked hard and supported us until today.

    Let us rejoice with our graduates living abroad and celebrate the past 50 years with you. In the Old Testament, the 50th year is called the “Year of Jubilee” (Leviticus 25:8), which is the year of the people’s deliverance from various hardships.”

    In Leviticus 25:8-10, we read, “Count thou seven times the years of rest, that is, seven years seven times seven; seven times seven is forty-nine years.

On the tenth day of the seventh month of that year, the Day of Atonement, you shall sound the horn of the ram. You shall blow the horn throughout the land to consecrate this fiftieth year and proclaim liberty to all the inhabitants. It is the year of Jubilee.”

The word “yobel” refers to the “ram’s horn” that is blown to mark the beginning and end of the Sabbath. The year of Jobel was the off-season for farming, when the land was left fallow. All slaves were freed and could return to their families. Those who owed debts were cleared of them.

Our story of rural leaders from around the world began fifty years ago,
in an Asian rural community devastated by disaster.

This “alternate path” is illuminated by the joy of sharing food and life together:
A story your hands will deliver to the next generation.

Graduates for Change

Many global challenges stand in the way of a sustainable future.

These issues are common to all countries around the world, but they particularly impact developing countries and rural communities.

Graduates for Change the World

Number of Graduates:
Number of Graduate Countries:
(as of 2023.4.1.)

Stories from Graduates

Celebration of the World Environment Day
2022 Project Award
One Child One Chicken Project

Ms. Saidath Murorunkwere
(2020 Graduate) Rwanda

“One Child One Chicken” Project 

“One Child One Chicken” is a project initiated by 2020 ARI Graduate Saidati Mulornkwere (a.k.a. Sylab) of Dufatanye, a Rwandan NGO. The project won the Celebration of the World Environment Day 2022 Project Award. Sairab came up with the idea for this project during her training at ARI in 2020. The goal is to teach entrepreneurial skills to the younger generation while also fostering a sense of responsibility.

 Each child between the ages of 7 and 10 from a family participating in Dufatanier’s “Village of Hope” program will be provided with one egg-laying chicken. The children, along with their parents, are taught how to care for the hen and how to hatch and raise the chicks.

 After five months, each child gives one hen to another child, but the rest are their own. In this way, a synergy of appreciation and compassion is created. Not only that, the children learn how to sell eggs and save money. When the scale of the project is expanded and the number of children reaches 20, they are given a hut.

 To make sure everything is going well, the Dufatanye staff checks in once a month to see how the hens are doing, how the work is progressing, and if the children need any help. Occasionally, problems such as illness or theft may occur. Also, some families cannot financially afford to feed the chickens. In such cases, Dufatanye offers part-time jobs to parents in exchange for new chickens and food.

 One child who participated in the program said, “The chickens gave me eggs. One child who participated in the program said, “I was able to sell the eggs that the chickens produced, which was a big help. It allowed me to earn money to buy pencils and books for school.”

 The new children also thank the child who gave them the chickens when they receive them and look forward to giving them to the next child.

<From the Annual Report year 2021 project report>

National Award for Promoting Sustainable Living for People with Disabilities

Ricky Rensley (2008 graduate) India

Bethany Society

    Bethany Society is a non-profit organization founded in 1981 in Meghalaya, India.

 2008 ARI Graduate Ricky Rensley (a.k.a. Ricky) received the National Award for Promoting Sustainable Livelihoods for People with Disabilities in 2016 from the then President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, as the President and Senior Program Coordinator of this organization.

For more than 25 years, Bethany Society has worked with farmers and communities to help them adopt sustainable, natural farming practices through participatory, hands-on training of people with disabilities.

This synergistic learning approach has brought farmers and communities together for facilitated training and then to engage in activities of mutual interest.

These results attest to the increased sustainability of food production, protection and care of the environment, and improved incomes so that people can enjoy a sense of abundant well-being compared to when they were previously poverty stricken.

ARI 50th Anniversary Greeting

Fruitful fifty years, and we will continue to sow the seeds.

Tomoko Arakawa, Director, ARI

  As we look back over the past 50 years of ARI’s history, we are filled with gratitude and humility.

    Guided by our mission to “build a just and peaceful world with a healthy environment through the development of rural leaders equipped with sustainable agriculture and lifestyles,” we have empowered countless rural communities around the world.

    This could not have been accomplished without the trust and participation of many. Remembering this, and in the spirit of “To Live Together,” I would like to rejoice and celebrate this moment with the ARI family.

    On the occasion of our 50th anniversary, we reaffirm the mission of our institute and are committed to learning together for the future of our rural community. The future we seek is one in which people and soil care for each other.

To this end, we seek to expand our learning community through educational programs that focus on environmental awareness, food life, servant leadership, self-awareness, and spirituality. The values and skills of these programs will be vital for those who learn and will inspire them to take constructive action for the next generation.


Founded in 1973


Founding of ARI

Received approval from the Governor of Tochigi Prefecture to establish “Associate School Corporation Asian Rural Leaders Training Institute in Southeast Asia”.

10th Anniversary


Minister of Foreign Affairs Commendation

Received the Foreign Minister’s Commendation for the efforts in promoting international exchange.


The 5th Japan Foundation Regional Exchange Award

Received the Foreign Minister’s Commendation for the efforts in promoting international exchange.

20th Anniversary


Magsaysay Prize for International Understanding

The Magsaysay Award for International Understanding is given to Rev. Toshihiro Takami by the Philippine government for his distinguished service in the field of peace and human development at ARI.


Special Award for Social Contribution Activities, Tochigi Association of Corporate Executives


The 13th Mainichi International Exchange Award


The 13th Mainichi International Exchange Award

30th Anniversary


The 5th Iue Asia Pacific Culture Prize


Asahi Social Welfare Award


More than 1,000 graduates


Damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake

The Japanese seismic intensity of the earthquake in Nasushiobara City was just under 6. The main building, Koinonia House, women’s dormitory, and men’s dormitory were severely damaged.
The hydrogen explosion at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant also caused radiation damage.
In 2011, ARI conducted a three-month training program at the Rural Mission Seminary of the Christian Church of Japan in Machida City, Tokyo.

Since then, ARI has implemented the ARI Disaster Reconstruction Project until 2015. The disaster recovery fundraising amounted to 827 million yen in 5 years. Almost all buildings were rebuilt.

ARI opened the ARI Becquerel Center in the adjacent Nasu Seminar House. The center has served as a base for measuring radiation levels in local food products, including ARI’s agricultural products.

40th Anniversary


Texas Christian University Global Innovator Award

12th Kamenori Prize for Human Resource Development


Global Spread of COVID-19 Virus

Difficulty in accepting students from abroad


Resumption of travel to Japan by overseas participants

50th Anniversary

The story of the future begins now.

Under the theme of “Learning Together for a Rural Future,” we will work comprehensively and multilaterally from five visions:

We remember that the school was built on a prayer atoning for the war of aggression Japan committed against Asia, and we hope to always be a place where people cherish life. To this end, we will create peace by loving the "soil" (nature) that nurtures life, and living together with all other things created by God.

We value life and its diversity as it cycles through nature, and we are daily grateful for the bounty of healthy food we produce, cook, and share. We cultivate the soil by sweating together while loving God, people, and nature, and learn together through the practice of food self-sufficiency, including food sovereignty, climate justice, and disaster-resistant agriculture.

We fully utilize campus resources and implement climate justice-aware climate change initiatives. Specifically, we will aim to reduce waste, convert to alternative energy sources such as solar and decarbonize using charcoal. We will also explore technologies that can be applied in the rural communities to which the participants belong.

We value practice, diversity, and learning from our differences. We will also connect and learn not only within the institute, but also from our alumni in the community and around the world. We will create a place of open learning where many people can visit.

We enhance the sustainability and resilience of the organization itself. We will strengthen not only our financial base and safety management, but also our human and intellectual resources through coaching and knowledge management.

We invite you to join us in our efforts to develop and enhance ARI's educational programs as promoted by the Five Visions.


Please make your ARI 50th Anniversary Donation now.

We welcome your support now and for the future.

Our Fundraising Goal:


million YEN

ARI thanks the many people who have supported us.
8 Million / 20 Million 40%

Please make ARI continuing donation.

Support ARI now and for the future with your generous

10,000 YEN, 50,000 YEN, or 100,000 YEN.

We welcome your decision to donate if you are able.