Understanding environment through culture, UEHIRO×WASEDA Seminar series

Letter to me in the future of 2030


Letter to me in the future 2030

Dear me in the future 2030, I will be the age of 30 in the year 2030. I have a sister who is 9 years older than me which gives me some idea of what turning 30 is like. I will possibly have a job and hopefully a stable income. I might be living with my parents or maybe on my own far away from home.  I will be able to have more options as to what I consume or not. Through this class, I have learned the importance of community and to keep in touch with the environments we live in. There are three actions I would like to […]

Letter to me in 2030/Rin Ichikawa


Connecting Nature and Culture

In this class, we have had the chance to attend lectures that provided us insight on how our senpai and professors are working to integrate nature and culture for a sustainable future. There was Hazumi Nemani Srividya Fujiwara from Founding Base, Tatsuhiro Furuya from Kitchhike, Professor Nakatani on the mille-vill project, Professor Kumagai on Buddhism in Bhutan, and Professor Nukina on the lecture about Chimaki. We also participated in activities such as nature game, interviews, as well as group work and discussion on topics related to the environment. Now, I have no idea on what exactly I want to do in the future in order to integrate nature and culture. […]

Live with Nature

One of the most impressive lessons I got throughout this course was the lecture from Professor Kumagai, about the people in Bhutan. In that lecture, I learned that the people in Bhutan see the nature or animals as a friend of them, and the way of their approach toward those life is RESPECT,  rather than protect. Through Bhutanese point of view, I got to realize that these days people exist as if we are the ruler of this world, but actually, human-being is just one part of the whole ecosystem, and we make up the world with other creatures.   I was also impressed to hear that a chef of […]

Letter to me in the future of 2030: Connection

I’ve been thinking about my living in 2030. How do I actually live with nature? In the lecture, there are a lot of presentation about the connection. Connection between urban and rural area, old and new houses, nature and tradition… However, everything seemed a bit distanced from how I live right now in the middle of big city, like Tokyo. Technologies made our lives too far away from the nature and we barely forget that we are living in a living planet. The social system and politics have made the environmental problems too complicated and we feel like we are facing very big problem that we cannot solve. However, if […]

Live Minimally, Value the invaluables

Recently I’ve been listening to a song by Sheena Ringo, ありあまる富, singing how “we are already rich with the ‘invisible wealth’”. Over the semester, we have had the opportunities to touch the invisible, but rich pearls of wisdom and beautiful passions passed down in our culture.   In 2021, however, the capitalist society and consumerism is still dominating the world.     Walking along the park with my eyes closed for the nature game, surprisingly, I was able to be more consious of surroundings, and never flip over, which I would often do even with my eyes open. I also felt myself feeling small and humble in the nature.   So […]

Letter to me in the future of 2030

Generally speaking, my main point about the relationship with nature is that human and nature together form an organic whole. In this organism, the existence of this two complement each other. Nature has given mankind a living environment and generously gifted countless natural resources. At the same time, while human beings enjoy the gifts of nature, it also means that they must protect nature, so as to create a virtuous circle and finally achieve a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship. Therefore, both are indispensable and interdependent part of this organic whole. Specifically, in the past few hundred years, human beings have continuously benefited from nature. This kind of benefit may be […]

Co-living with Nature and Nurturing Kansei through Environmental Education

Various people work towards taking care of nature in multifaceted ways and areas in society. We had some priceless opportunities throughout this semester to hear from several guest lecturers who work in the frontline across Japan and the world to sustain the environment and make the world a better place. So how do I want to live in harmony with nature now and in the future? Here is my answer. I want to play my part through education. Working with children and learning along with them has always been my goal in the future. I want to become an engaging teacher and a lifelong learner by immersing myself in nature […]

Letter to me in the future of 2030

Hello to dear future me. I am curious about how is the global environment going in 2030. Before I taking the course of Nature and Culture, I am just a person who is not interested in any environmental issues. However, by playing some activities with the nature, I realize nature is part of our life. Last week’s activities let me notice that we could not only see the nature but also we could feel it by our other organs by hearing, smelling, and touching. By closing the vision, it let me realize we can not only capture the nature with our eyes, but also we can feel the nature in […]

Forest Life

In the SWOT analysis, our “Forest Life” team talked about “The village of the doll”, where many mannequins were left around a village in Japan, due to the local population dwindles. We discussed that although depopulation is a serious issue in the rural area, there is much opportunity to develop the area by utilizing their vast lands and natural resources. Then we chose “Second house” as a measure to get over this weakness and threats, as Second House can easily invite urban people to the rural area and let them know a wonderful forest life.

Forest Life: Restoration

Today, our group discussed branding for a village in the mountains based on our group theme “forest life.” And we came up with the idea of “second house.” What we mean by that is customers pay some money and stay at any houses which are not used in those villages.

Rural Village Plan: Branding Team

Our group focused on branding to come up with a plan for a village in the mountains. We recognized that due to the Corona Virus, more people have a desire to work remotely from rural areas. As a result, de-urbanization is accelerating in Japan. So our plan was to brand the village as a friendly area for those moving from cities to villages. We can use cooperative farming as an incentive. This plan would give opportunities for regular people to grow their own produce in shared farm-land. They would receive support from local farmers, so even fist timers can try. The residents would be able to enjoy hands-on farming, fresh […]

Tradition group; “Spirit”

We chose “Spirit” as a key word, since tradition is basically a custom/value/beliefs being passed on from generation to generation. Society changes and a “tradition” might not be exactly the same as it was back then. So the most important part of tradition is the “core”, the “spirit” of the people. Especially in rural areas, even if it might not be practical and practiced in today’s world, there are many distinct tradition that still exist because of the “spirit” which is still being passed on. This authenticity and significance of “tradition” it holds to the people and the area, is a tremendously big strength and opportunity to attract people in […]


Our group’s topic is restoration, and today in class we have considered and discussed “traditional crafts” from diverse perspectives, especially with the scope of SWOT.   Our discussion has come to the keyword of “Rediscovery.” It is significant for the authentic and original skills, pearls of wisdom and stories behind the declining traditional crafts to be rediscovered, not only by the world or the young generations but also by the people within the rural community themselves, in order to appropriately restore those invaluable assets that have been handed down over the generations.


We have interviewed more than 10 people at Waseda campus and we generalised those interviewees into one persona. Our keyword is ignorance, which represents people who are not well aware of social issues, including sustainable society.

Yui, Xu Yili

Generating Alternative Values

This is Minami, Hori and Andre! Last week interviewed the owner of Kadoya, a teishoku restaurant and izakaya near Waseda’s Todenarakawa line station. He talked about how his experiences working in a conveyor belt sushi restaurant motivated him to create his own sustainable restaurant, and how he hopes other parties could adopt his initiatives in creating an “alternate value”: a stylish yet delicious, as well as natural meals in the restaurant industry.

Designing the Ideal Sustainable Post-Pandemic University Campus

    Michael and I decided to use two themes for our fieldwork interview, which was “Designing the ideal Post-pandemic University Campus and Green Sustainable Spaces.” and “How much more are you willing to pay more for a recycled product? (beverages, clothes, digital devices, etc.)” The four interviewees that we met were very kind to participate in our interview which was conducted in English and Japanese at Waseda Campus, the Toyama Campus Hill, and Okuma Garden. In the photo above, I used Interviewee C’s answers to write the empathy map. 🍎🍏Interviewee A and B (Japanese students) A: Yes, we already have the Okuma garden, but I would love it if […]

environmental countermeasure

Yuta and Yuko Interview

Dialogue & Discussion

We thought that there are similarities and differences between dialogue and discussion, and the similarity is to share opinions and the difference is its purpose. Dialogue is conducted in order to just accept others’ opinions and to get to know the other party, as in  daily conversation.  On the other hand, discussion is conducted in order to exchange opinions on a theme or purpose and to draw a conclusion.

〜Making Swiss Cheese〜 The Lauterbrunnen Experience

Location: Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland Activity: Swiss cheese-making Class With a virtual tour of the valley and waterfalls Overview: The village that lies in the great valley of Lauterbrunnen is a majestic site with numerous waterfalls decorating the nature-rich countryside. A popular tourist attraction site, it has harbored myriads of tourists over the years but has experienced a significant drop in its numbers following the COVID-19 pandemic. This online event allows people who are stuck at home to experience the great landscapes of the valley, such as the majestic waterfalls and nature, and helps stimulate the tourist industry. In addition to this, participants will be able to learn how to make […]

Dialogue vs Discussion

Our thoughts on the difference between dialogue and discussion is the connotation and purpose. Dialogue; Dialogue is a flexible conversation with two or more people. We think it has a more open and free connotation which allows for participants to be very vulnerable and very true to their feelings. The objective is to exchange opinions and know the other side. -heart to heart. Human to Human.   Discussion; Has a more logical and official connotation. It is more organized. A clear purpose to try and persuade the other party or to reach a level of common ground and come up with a compromise. It’s more of a battle to find […]


Our thoughts on dialogue and discussions are… Dialogue Discussion Primary goal To understand each other To come to a conclusion Topics Broad, can be personal Specific and objective Typical reply Uh-huh! (Participants accept each other’s perspective) Hmm, but… (Participants may deny each other to reach a conclusion)


In our group, we found out  the difference between dialogue and discussion is the process and conclusion. In dialogue, we believe that the process is more essential to accept other opinions. On the other hand, in the discussion, how we build a consensus (=conclusion) is more focused on . Although both dialogue and discussion is the same in terms of sharing opinions, how it affects people’s opinions is dramatically changed.

Kintsugi Journey in Kyoto: Delivered Worldwide ONLINE

Kintsugi is the traditional Japanese practice of mending broken potteries. The Japanese spirits behind this practice- cherishing imperfections, leveraging the value of broken things through mending, have recently gained global attention, yet authentic kintsugi requires special materials and techniques that cannot be done very easily. This online workshop shares with participants materials, techniques, and broader, inspiring stories behind this traditional Japanese practice.

Online Homecoming

  This online event is for those who have not been able to visit their hometown due to the Corona virus.

Online cooking event


New-standard farm system

Online Kitchhike Event

It is very important to teach ‘original’ culture to foreigners. However, because of cultural difference sometimes it is difficult to accept the original culture directly. This event converges to the foreign culture in order to introduce Japanese Sushi culture.

Virtual K Bar

This is an unofficial “website” created for an academic project and has no relation with the official Kamiya Bar. Inspired by the online craft beer tasting event by Kitchhike, I decided to open up a virtual bar of one of my favorite bars in Asakusa, Tokyo. Here is a mock “website” page of the virtual bar event. Based on my experience, I personally thought that online drinking parties were boring and such a waste of time. I would rather drink and interact with my close friends in the same place and atmosphere. The lecturer from Kitchhike shared that it is possible to make online events entertaining, engaging, and interactive by […]

Online “Trade” Nomikai

For this week, I thought came up with model for an online event inspired by Kitchhike. Detailed file can be downloaded below.

“In-and-out” Community Building as a RuralxUrban Platform

I came up with an idea for an implementation of direct sales store based on Founding Base lecture. Detailed file can be downloaded below.

Idea for a Platform Between Urban & Rural

For my proposal, I decided to connect rural farms with urban businesses.

All resources are used

Farm Stand which use all resources

TABITECH. -Ideal platform between rural and urban area-


Summer house

Matching people who own the house in rural area and people who want to travel and spend the time in nature.
This enables people to stay longer term and explore different villages all over Japan, which expand the awareness towards rural area.

chemical reaction between locals and newcomers

Rin Ichikawa

Senior Tour Guides Reenergizing Local Tourism

yuta tanaka

“Welcome Box of Local Craftsman”- An idea for the platform between urban and rural area

In every corner of Japan, unique and aesthetic craftworks have been developed and passed down in their specific historical, geographical, or economic contexts. However, these crafts have been dying out, as much more cost-effective, and convenient ways of life have been introduced by economic development and globalization. Utilizing these story-rich and valuable resources, this idea offers to cater to the needs and leverage people’s strengths in both the rural and urban areas.

TONY by J&S / Ideal Chair 2021

INTRODUCING… “Tony”,  who will be your lifelong partner “who has your back”. Tony is a comfortable, portable, durable, and a sustainable chair with comfy “airweave” cushioning that will support your back pain and keeps your posture! It also strives to become an equitable and a durable chair that can be used by children to elderly people. You will never get tired even if you sit on this chair for a long time! produced by Jeonghoon Lee and Tobaru Ryunoshin (Spencer)  

some my way

Hello! This is Minami and Yuko! This is our ideal chair the “float chair” inspired by waterbeds.

「Ideal Chair 理想の椅子」

Our ideal chair, Yogibo 2.0, has mainly 3 functions which are autopilot, waterproof and comfortable. We came up with this idea because we both love Yogibo. And we wanted to customize previous Yogibo. Rin&Nao

Ideal Chair

Hello! We are Risa and Yuta, and this is our ideal chair! Our chair focuses on 3 main points, numerous customization options, comfort and has an alarm system that wakes you up in case you fall asleep. When we first started discussing about what kind of chair to make, we were surprised that we prioritized the same features. 1. comfort 2. compactness 3. adaptability Including so many elements was a challenge, but we believe this chair can help many people who are working and learning remotely!

Ideal chair

A green hanging tent hammock hung between two trees with a rain cover. Perfect for relaxing away from the hubbub of fast paced city life.

Ideal Chair

We are Kosuke and Remi.
Our chair has multi-function which can make relaxing nature environment.
We have same needs that we want to be relaxed in nature, but it’s a bit difficult when you have to study at university in the big city.
So we made a chair which make you feel like you are being nature.
And if you want to be in the real nature, you can go to the sea by this chair. It has a chimney and can be a boat!