Slope farming continues in disappearing villages

Itaru Sato
(Ashiro in Higashi-Miyoshi Town)

There was a village called Dodoro in the mountains at an altitude of approximately 500 m in the Ashiro district of Higashi-Miyoshi town.

About 50 years ago, there were ten private homes in this area, but the place name "Dodoro" is no longer used because the number of houses has been decreased to two.

Mr. Itaru Sato runs a farm in the village.

He now lives at the foot of the mountain but grew up in this village. His 83-year-old mother, Mrs. Kayoko, lives alone in the family home, and Mr. Sato grows vegetables and indigenous millets in this field.

His father grew leaf tobacco, whereas Mr. Sato began growing vegetables.

He cleared a mountain and built plastic greenhouses to grow tomatoes because they were tasteable among the vegetables he tried out. He also grows kidney beans, radishes, and other indigenous millets, such as buckwheat and Takakibi, which he sells at local farmers' markets.

He is preparing to sell his products on the Internet and hopes that people throughout Japan will enjoy vegetables, buckwheat rice, and other processed products from sloping lands.