About ARI

Life-Changing Learning
for a Better World

ARI is a place of communal learning in Japan.
We welcome people from around the globe
to share ideas for a sustainable and peaceful life.

We train rural leaders from Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Pacific to help grassroots communities become self-reliant.

We offer learning and research opportunities about community, peace, and Foodlife to the general public.

We build meaningful worldwide relationships with supporters and partners who agree with our mission. 

ARI is a duly registered legal body, authorized by the local government and running as a vocational school with a stated purpose under the guidance of the Basic Education Law and the School Education Law of Japan. 

Our Mission

The mission of the Asian Rural Institute is to build
an environmentally healthy, just and peaceful world,
in which each person can live to his or her fullest potential.

This mission is rooted in the love of Jesus Christ.

To carry out this mission,
we nurture and train rural leaders for a life of sharing.

Leaders, both women and men, who live and work
in grassroots rural communities primarily in Asia,
Africa and the Pacific, form a community of learning
each year together with staff and other residents.

Through community-based learning we study
the best ways for rural people to share and enhance
local resources and abilities for the common good.

We present a challenge to ourselves and to the whole world
in our approach to food and life.

That We May Live Together.

Walking with Grassroots People since 1973

ARI was established in its present location in 1973 as a vocational school, operating the Rural Leaders Training Center. It was based on the Southeast Asia Christian Rural Leaders Training Course at Theological Seminary for Rural Mission in Machida, Tokyo and was supported by Japanese, European and American Christian churches and other groups.

ARI started as an international organization training leaders who engage in rural development in developing countries. It was started to satisfy the demand for training by Christian churches and groups that had already taken part in rural development in Southeast Asian countries, with the added aim to invite rural leaders of other religious backgrounds. Since 1996, we have also accepted Japanese participants who intend to serve rural communities in the future – either in Japan or worldwide.

Since its inception, ARI has engaged young people from Japan and abroad in its work. Thousands have visited ARI and taken part in farm work, study camps, and international exchange. We extend our values ​​and the experience of creating a sustainable and peaceful world with our own hands to learners, supporters, and partners. 

Recognized in
Japan and Overseas

The Foreign Minister’s Commendation for ARI’s effort
in promoting international exchange

Special prize for social contribution
from the Tochigi Association of Corporate Executives

The Mainichi Newspaper International Exchange Award

ARI’s community development work in Negros Island,
the Philippines was chosen as Project of the Year
at the International Cooperation Festival in Tokyo

The Asia Pacific ‘Culture Prize’
of the Asia Pacific Forum Iue Memorial

The 14th Distinguished Services Prize
from the Japan Ecumenical Association

The Asahi Social Welfare Prize 2008


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