Fantastic People in Hakusan


Guest House Ilonggo
Mari Kurata

I was born here in Hakusancho Sada and grew up locally until senior high school. I have good childhood memories here with my grand parents and neighbours such as riding on a rice harvester, cooking rice crackers on charcoal fire stoves, and helping to hold fryers of my grand father’s appliances shop…

When I graduated from senior high school, I moved to Kyoto for University, there I studied forest and bio-materials science for 6 years and got a masters degree. In 6 years, I was a member of forestry volunteer circle learning forestry from the local foresters.

After graduating from master course, I decided to work for an international NGO, Ikaw-Ako Foundation to take part in the reforestation project in the Philippines. As a forester, I tried to develop reforestation technology. However, I realised that it is more important to understand the way people live to make the reforestation most effective. Since the reforestation is a life time activity.

After 9 years of living in Negros Island, I decided to bring my husband whom I met there and our daughter back to my hometown. We had been working for my husband’s hometown for 9 years. Now we want to also help the people from my hometown which is an ageing society and decreasing population.

My policy is “Think Global, Act Local”. We should know whats happening in the world, but what we can do is limited. To help people in front of you, to give a small change to your neighbours life is the best thing we can do, it is very fulfilling. Doing these small actions each one of us can change the world around us in the end.

My first action here in Hakusancho was to establish Guest House Ilonggo where people can have an international exchange and farm experiences in a rural place. Second was to organize this Landing in HAKUSAN. I still have lots of plans for my town. I am wishing Hakusancho will become to be loved from people all over the world.

Thank you very much!! Hope to see you here at Guest House Ilonggo!!