7 Billion Humans | Urbanization: De-Urbanization and Depopulation of Japanese Rural Area in Kamikatsu

De-Urbanization and Depopulation of Japanese Rural Area in Kamikatsu

De-Urbanization and Depopulation of Japanese Rural Area in Kamikatsu

Kamikatsu was home to 6,000 people twenty years ago and is now the population is just 2,000.  Tomoji Yokoishi was working for the government to instruct community agriculture.  All the tangerine trees were wiped out by a freeze so he had to figure out how the elderly in this town could survive. He studied all the elaborate garnishes used in Japanese cuisine and quit his government job in 1986 and mobilized the entire town with an eye toward keeping the primarily elderly population gainfully employed. The good news is he succeeded beyond his wildest dreams and now eighty percent of the garnishes on Japanese cuisine come from this place. The bad news is they use a horrific amount of styrofoam for the packing . . . oh well. My only Russian words are “everything in life is compromise.” By the elderlies for the elderlies business. Based in Kami-katsu Township in Tokushima Prefecture, the Irodori Corporation, established in 1987, is one of the good examples of the farming sector and commercial sector cooperating to vitalize depopulated and aged communities. In Katsu-ura Township, population is approximately 2,000 from over 854 households, and 49.5% of the population is above age 65. The Irodori Corporation’s main products are garnishes, which are very light in weight, so even the elderly can handle the product, from picking, to packing, shipping. Even elder staff at Irodori take Internet orders, 24-hours a day. They also use the Internet for marketing.  Annual sales are now 260 million Yen. Some old female staff makes 10 million Yen a year.

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