One of the world’s most modern, affluent nations, Japan owes its past growth to its mastery of 20th century processes: industrialization, urbanization and globalization. But today, facing 21st century challenges, the country is exploring alternative paths to prosperity based on different values – and along the way it is rediscovering its roots and the values of its past.
The rural village of Omori-cho, with only 400 habitants, finds itself on the cutting edge of this new sustainability movement, explores alternative paths to prosperity based on community action and sustainability. Situated in the southwest of Japan’s Honshu Island near the Sea of Japan in Shimane Prefecture, it is part of the silver mining area of Iwami-Ginzan, inscribed as a UNESCO Cultural Heritage site in 2007 for its preservation of ancient wooden buildings using traditional skills and materials. .
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