To help transition Japan to a peace promoting post-carbon country while enjoying every step of the process.
僕のビジョンは、祖国日本で、平和文化を育みポストカーボン(Post-Carbon) 社会を促進してゆく事です。

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Tokyo Urban Permaculture Website is up and running

Hello from Union Station in Chicago

Just flew in a few days ago to visit my brother at Tillers International (check it out), where he is learning how to farm with oxen, handle horses, weld, make rope, brooms, the list goes on. Yesterday, we went into Detroit and had an insightful tour of economic collapse and urban grassroots renewal by Richard Feldman of the Boggs Center (check it out).  And now heading to the Possibility Alliance (check it out) where my brother used to live, and that I have heard much about. PA seems to be a hub of inspiring people living in sacred integrity with the earth. No electricity, no fossil fuels, simple hand-and-earth-made living. Hard to find much info on them online but I've come to realize that the really amazing things cannot be found easily online.

Meanwhile in Japan, we signed a lease to start a Peace (nonviolence) and Permaculture Dojo for 10 years in Isumi, Chiba prefecture. The educational programs, nonviolent communication 6-day immersion training and permaculture design course have already started on my friend Phil Cashman's site in Southern Chiba. We're going to start renovating the old Japanese thatch-roofed kominka (means old house) and turn it into a guesthouse by April 2017.

The 2.5 acre lot was an old Japanese homestead with a mini cow barn, bamboo grove, fruit trees, rice paddies, and garden. Still off-grid too! More to come about that, but I'm hoping for it to be a refuge and training site for ecologically rooted peace activists. Part of my vision for growing social change infrastructure in Japan. Really hoping to keep the country from fully engaging in war. But, the military-industrial-complex is powering up and the government is trying their best to change article 9 of our pacifist constitution. We're going to have to get really creative!

And we now have a website! Its mostly Japanese but I squeezed in some English.

Here is the English message

Welcome to you English-reading friend!

Thank you for finding your way to this website!
Thank you internet for making this connection possible!
Thank you Earth for being a most generous host!

ABOUT Tokyo Urban Permaculture
Tokyo Urban Permaculture (TUP) is a project that Kai Sawyer started around 2011. He was a second-year permaculture apprentice at the Bullocks Permaculture Homestead when the Fukushima nuclear meltdown tragically occurred. He decided to venture into the heart of the problem, Tokyo, to explore what seeds of hope he could grow in the busy radioactive world that he was born in.

You can read more about Kai and the Bullocks Permaculture Homestead on his first blog: Living Permaculture (about)

TUP started out as a place for Kai to share permaculture, compassionate communication (aka Nonviolent Communication), mindfulness (based on Thich Naht Hanh’s teachings), systems thinking through games, gift economy, and creative activism from primarily from the Bay Area of California. Workshops and presentations are primarily offered as a gift (more about the gift economy here) and anybody is welcome to join. Interventions and experiments such as guerrilla gardening, street meditations, youth climate change actions, and developing community gardens have been a central part of TUP activities.

A crowd-sourced and crowd-funded book-like zine, Urban Permaculture Guide, was published and has become one of the most read permaculture books in Japan. See Living Permaculture (book) for more.

After several years of soil-building, TUP has now blossomed into a community of social change growers exploring how can we co-create a culture that is moved by love for the earth and peace. Activities are not limited to “Tokyo”, “Urban”, or “Permaculture”, but the focus is on regenerating Tokyo into a urban culture that supports life rather than consuming it.

Some concrete projects include
this website!

  • nonviolent communication activist training retreat

  • PAWA Permaculture Design Course (with Phil Cashman and Kyle Holtzer)

  • Commune Garden: a rooftop community garden in Omotesando, Tokyo

  • Japan-centered permaculture design manual in Japanese (just sprouting)

  • Permaculture and Nonviolence Dojo for training Japanese activists (just sprouting)

For most recent updates see the Tokyo Urban Permaculture blog.

In some ways, TUP is just a name, a blog and website, a flag where people can come to for healing, hope, and action. The movement in Japan is much larger than TUP, and we are just another branch of an inspiring earth-wide movement. Nothing more exciting than this!

Since our focus is on supporting non-English-literate Japanese, most information is in Japanese…until we find someone passionate about translating for us. We love connecting with the English-literate too so feel free to write us or support us in any way! Just be warned that few of us are bilingual and so our responses might be rather slow. Reminders are welcome if you don’t get a response in a week or something like that. Since we are all volunteers slowly building up our social infrastructure, our capacity is still quite limited.

Thanks for reading and happy to be on the planet with you!

moved by love
Kai and the inspiring TUP team

When you understand, you love. And when you love, you naturally act in a way that can relieve the suffering of people. -Thay (TNH)

Farming is a way of life in which one constantly reaffirms the source of life. - Fukuoka Masanobu

Work is energy. Two crises of our times are intimately connected — the climate crisis and the unemployment crisis.....To make the energy transition beyond oil, we need to bring people back into the economy, bring human energy back into production, respect physical work, and give it dignity. - Vandana Shiva