"10 Hometowns for Each"
I hit upon this word during my activities as a photographer while writing this blog.
"I would like to have 10 towns which I feel very attached to, and which always welcome me."
I created this word to embody my dream. As of May 30, 2015, Google showed no record for "10 Hometowns for Each", nor its Japanese equivalent of Ichinin Jukkyo (一人十郷). This is my own word.
I don't know how widely this word will spread in the world, or even whether I can keep using it by myself.
But at least, I am responsible for describing how this word was created in detail because I am a father of this word.
I was born and brought up in Japan, and I love Japan the most. I've been to some other countries, but I love Japan very much.
Regardless of complicated things such as national interest, advancing foreign economies and Cool Japan Campaign, I just feel very attached to the country where I was born and brought up. And I am very happy to say that I still can continue to feel very attached to her.
Although there might be some differences in the difficulty, we can change where to live with our great efforts. That is, we can move to our loved places.
But we can not choose where we were born. We do not have the right to choose. It can't be changed. I am very happy to say that I still love such an inconvenient profile item.
I would like to continue loving where I was born from now on, too. I am also seeking for new ways, though.
Although I love Japan and find Japan a nice country, I hear some people say that Japan is in danger.
They say that China is now greater in GDP, that the country with shrinking population is not attractive, that the country with radioactive contamination has no hope, or that they aim for markets abroad and not at all for Japan's market. There's no end for such articles.
However, every country has bad points. It is nor fair to list all the bad points about the country while listing no good points about her. "Why not collect good points with your great efforts?" I thought.
This is why I decided to work by myself.
If I see nobody is willing to do it, it only means that the gods tell me to do it. This is how I have lived my life.
If somebody is finding and spreading only the bad points about something, all I need to do is to find the greater good points which defeat all the bad points.
In the first place, I started this blog.
I chose photography.
I started what I could do.
I continued it for one year.
I spent much time taking photos and writing articles.
I soon started to visit towns in rural areas.
Then, I thought, "Japan is beautiful."
"What can I do to give the greatest energy to the whole Japan?"
This is what I thought thoroughly alone. I now just wonder why this young man did it alone.
Then, I hit upon one idea.
If I managed to give great energy to places with big disadvantages in economical point of view, I would be able to give great energy to any towns of Japan, which means I can give great energy to the whole Japan.
I searched on the internet and found Local Revitalization, a political campaign by Shigeru Ishiba. The more I searched, the more information with great attractiveness I got. I envied them, and I found them cool.
But I felt that something is missing.
In the context of Local Revitalization Campaign, I often hear the word "urban-rural migration", especially the one by Local Revitalization Cooperation Group, or Chiiki-okoshi Kyouryokutai (地域おこし協力隊) in Japanese. They invite more and more migrators by themselves, too.
Indeed, there is a certain percentage of people who prefer lives in rural areas, and this campaign succeeded in giving strong triggers to actually decide migration. This activity is great in this sense.
To tell the truth, I also prefer living in rural areas very much, and once I thought about using the campaign.
But sadly, I couldn't help looking only at such lovely points.
Migration can give rich lives to individual migrators. Migration can be a great trigger of local revitalization (dependent on their efforts, though). However, migration is only a geographical re-allocation of labor forces. Migration itself cannot be a paradigm shift for this developed country with new problems.
"I'm afraid towns in rural areas might scramble for talented human resources who prefer rural areas..."
I was quite worried about it. I do not want to see sad scrambles for limited pie.
I wondered how we can change this way of thinking. At that time, I heard one message.
"Why not create the second hometown?"
Each human only have one body.
They can live only in one town.
Urban-rural migration can be a solution to the mismatch in people, employment and town. But it can not be a fundamental solution to give great energy to the whole Japan because human resources are limited.
(I admit that the migration can be a trigger to revitalize towns greatly. This is dependent on migrators, and is why I envy them.)
Then, I changed my idea.
If we must live inside to contribute to certain towns, it must end up being the scrambles. But if we have a system which let us contribute to our loved towns while living outside, it will bring Japan a miracle greater than a mere migration. Plus, if we can break the limit of the number of towns to contribute, it will surely be a breakthrough on Local Revitalization Campaign.
I do not know any generic system which let us contribute to towns where we do not live. (Let me know if you know any!) I think that the system of Furusato Tax (ふるさと納税) is the closest to my ideal system, but it is not enough. (I still can't describe why it is not. I will try to write it someday.) But,
"We now enjoy the world of the internet where we can work wherever we want. Then, it must be easy to contribute to our loved towns from outside. We can create any new ways."
I now have a hope.
I looked at my profile.
Place of Birth : Tsurumi Ward of Yokohama City
Place of Family Register : Nishi Ward of Niigata City
Current Address : Ota Ward of Tokyo Prefecture
All of them are single answers. We only can show one for each. And current address is the only item which we can change intentionally. There is no profile item to declare the multiple towns we contribute to.
This is why I created the word "10 Hometowns for Each".
This is the towns which you feel very attached to, and which always welcome you. You do not necessarily live there. You feel connected, and you somehow contribute to the towns. I would like to call them "Places of Contribution", or POC.
If I manage to find and keep 10 towns like this through my life, it must be a great accomplishment. If, not only I, not only people around Japan, but also people from all over the world manage to accomplish this, it must become a paradigm shift in local economy. I created the word "10 Hometowns for Each" to embody my dream.
We can find such towns only by coincidence, luck, and a bit of efforts and courage. It must be a special tie. I will take each small step forward to see the end of this life-long journey.
Written by Takumi Nasuno on May 30, 2015