Konohana Family is a sustainable community – based at the foot of Mt. Fuji in Fujinomiya, Shizuoka, Japan – is home to more than 60 people who cultivate over 250 rice and vegetable crops across 16 hectares.
The sustainable community practices organic agriculture, and does not use any chemical fertilisers, agricultural chemicals, or genetically modified technology. Konohana Family, who say they have “borrowed the land for free from their local neighbours”, produce most of their food themselves – that’s 270 types of vegetables, grains, 10 types of rice, free-range eggs, pure honey, and miso (fermented soy paste), soy-sauce, and other processed food, produced with traditional methods.
The only items that the sustainable community purchase is sugar, salt, and some spices.
The community was founded by 20 existing members in 1994. It was originally called Konohana Farm, before being renamed Konohana Family.
The name “Konohana” comes from the goddess of Mt. Fuji, “Konohana Sakuyahime no Mikoto”. Since its establishment, the family has built a certain lifestyle based on harmony. With an even spread of children, youth, middle aged and older people, all members make full use of their talents in daily life, playing specific roles, and helping each other.
Konohana Family have gained the wider local community’s trust because of the way it addresses Japan’s rural aging crisis. part of the community. Given that the community is based in a depopulating area, Konohana Family has benefited from neighbouring farmland being leant to them for free, allowing it to harvest more as its numbers increase. They also use recycled tempura oil from local restaurants to fuel some of the Farm’s trucks and equipment.
Konohana Family has taken unique steps for the last 24 years without any specific ideology or model. It received high recognition as a well established spiritual community in various aspects for its initiatives such as: the environmentally friendly lifestyle that achieved high self-sufficiency of food based on organic agriculture; harmonious community building based on high-level of spirituality; a mutually-supported system based on common economy, and spirituality that is deeply rooted in the daily life without belonging to a specific religion or denomination. These aspects have attracted attention domestically and internationally.
With a lifestyle based on living in harmony with nature and self-sufficiency, Konohana Family has attracted worldwide attention and visits from abroad, with some deciding stay to permanently.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea