Receive Studio Ghibli anime art in new crowdfunding campaign to save Totoro’s forest

Hayao Miyazaki has spent over US$2 million to save the forest where Totoro was born, but needs more help.

Read More

Real-world forest that inspired Hayao Miyazaki to create Totoro will become a nature preserve

2.6-billion yen project will protect some 7,000 trees.

Read More

New environmental regulations considered for Seto Inland Sea because it has become “too pretty”

That’s one way to sum up the situation.

Read More

X Japan’s Yoshiki makes large donation for Australian wildfire relief, rainforest conservation

J-rock legend calls on others to commit to conservation and sustainability.

Read More

Picking seaweed up off the beach and taking it home is illegal in most of Japan, and here’s why

What’s the harm in pinching a tiny bit of seaweed? Quite a lot, as our Japanese-language reporter learned.
Read More

Studio Ghibli adapts the world’s oldest manga into short animation for conservation project

Centuries-old designs brought to life by Japan’s most celebrated animation house.

Read More

Australia mulls koala cull, Japan’s whaling advocates eat up the irony like delicious whale meat

Japan and most of the rest of the developed world don’t exactly see eye to eye on whaling. Sure, Japan has a couple of mammal-fishing buddies in Norway and Iceland, but most other nations with a comparable scientific and economic footing take a dim view of Japan’s professedly research-based whaling expeditions, especially in light of how you’re much more likely to come across a restaurant in Japan serving whale meat than a significant biological discovery about whales coming from one of the country’s scientists.

One of the most outspoken opponents has been Australia, which is particularly upset about Japanese whalers hunting the creatures in the Southern Ocean that surrounds Antarctica, an area much closer to Australia than Japan. Now, though, some Japanese Internet commenters are launching snide jabs right back at their critics from Down Under in regards to the Australian government’s consideration of a plan to kill off a portion of its koala population.

Read More

Japanese start-up invents faucet gadget to reduce water usage by up to 95 percent

Although over 70 percent of the Earth is covered in water, over 96 percent of that is salty. As anyone who’s gotten a mouthful of ocean water knows, we can’t drink that, and bathing in it is a big no-no. So, we are dependent on the limited fresh water supply, 70 percent of which is used for agriculture. That doesn’t leave much for us, so water conservation has been a hot topic for years, especially in places like Southern California that are suffering from droughts.

Companies all over the world have been coming out with water-efficient faucets and toilets to help, but they have barely made a dent in mitigating the problem, that is, until one Japanese entrepreneur set their mind to the problem. In 2009, a Japanese start-up created a water-saving nozzle that is purported to reduce water usage by up to 95 percent. This could be a life-changing and world-changing invention.

Read More

“Kind Chinese” vs “Greedy Chinese”: Efforts to save wild carp instantly nullified

Wildlife conservation is never an easy task. Too many obstacles stand in the way, such as modernization, human activity, pollution, and climate changes, just to name a few.

A group of kind citizens bought 800 live carp, releasing them into the Yellow River in China in hopes of rejuvenating the dwindling numbers of the native species, but little did they expect the fish to flow straight into fishing nets of the greedy fellowmen waiting downstream.

Read More

Thirty-Six [ ________ ] of Mt. Fuji Project has a view of conserving the iconic mountain

Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji is a series of 36 masterpieces by Katsushika Hokusai in the medium of ukiyoe woodblock printing. Even if the name doesn’t ring a bell, you certainly must have caught a glimpse of the iconic The Great Wave off Kanagawa (above) once or twice somewhere, or maybe you saw a Japanese passport encased in South Wind, Clear Sky.

A new non-profit organization with the aim of conserving the newly appointed World Heritage Site is using these famous pieces of art as the theme for a new fundraising campaign. However, instead of limiting themselves to woodblock prints, Thirty-Six [ _____ ] of Mt. Fuji Project is taking out the “Views” and opening it up to any form of artistic expression such as “Thirty-Six Songs of Mt. Fuji” or “Thirty-Six Sweets of Mt. Fuji”.

Read More

One brave young woman’s fight to replace shark fishing with ecotourism – We talk to Kathy Xu

Born and raised in Singapore, 31-year-old Kathy Xu had been a secondary school teacher all her adult life, including a brief stint in Japan in 2009. Despite her love of teaching, Kathy recently made the bold decision to dedicate herself full-time to helping stop the exploitative shark finning trade in Southeast Asia, having visited the island of Lombok three times and witnessed the grim situation first-hand. She is now working to provide those same fishermen with an alternative form of income: ecotourism.

With the long-term goal of replacing shark fishing with environmentally friendly tours operated by locals, Kathy hopes to change the way we think about sharks, as well as help maintain the delicate ecosystem that exists in the seas surrounding Lombok, potentially saving their sharks from extinction.

We sat down with Kathy to talk about her inspiring venture: The Dorsal Effect.

Read More