Summer CSGC Grant Update: Go Green in Uozu, The City of Mirages

Yaginomori is a charitable organization founded in 2008 by Mr. Kanamori and his three goats. It’s located in the eastern part of the Toyama Prefecture in Japan in the city of Uozu, the place my family calls home. I was immediately drawn to Yaginomori upon learning about its mission: to restore and revitalize a depopulated hilltop village in Uozu by planting organic herbs, fruit, rice, and other organic produce to generate income for its operation. I also learned about Mr. Kanamori’s desire to build a playground on the site to bring local kids together to help revitalize the village while also having a place where they could gather.

Unfortunately, he lacked the labor and money to execute the plan, so it has been put on hold for years. This is how I started exchanging ideas with Mr. Kanamori. Using my grant, I will be able to buy the materials for this project and help build it. During my summer break thus far, I have been in contact with contractors and vendors in Japan to negotiate for lower pricing and to purchase materials, and I have also gotten the local TV station and newspaper involved to spread Yaginomori’s story. I am left with the final task of actually building the playground in Uozu and throwing an opening event to meet everybody and share the spirit of Deerfield’s giving and community service. I leave for Japan on August 9th, and I will be on the site the first day I am there, spending most of my August to complete the project. I am super excited to finally get shovels in the ground and see the finished playground!

-Shogo ’25

Below is a map of where the playground will be: