Yaotsu is a small town between Minokamo and Ena. Time moves slower here and people love the town and their neighbors.
When you talk to the local people, everyone says quite frankly, ‘I like people’ and ‘I like Yaotsu’. Lately it’s considered to be more cool to hide such feelings, but the people of Yaotsu are proud of their town and aren’t afraid to express their feeling properly.
Japan is a country of four seasons. In the spring we fall in love with the cherry blossoms, in the summer we visit rivers or the sea to find refreshing coolness, autumn is time to view the changing leaves and then hide away in winter to wait for the coming spring.
In any town in Japan, people spend each season in a similar way, but Yaotsu has the added warmth and love you can’t find everywhere else.
People love this town and so they take good care of it. They also take care of it for their neighbors. Even though there are various relations like families, friends, upper-classmen and bosses, the people here cherish the people who care about them because of which they cherish the town that raised them as well. This simple but unforgettable feeling as human beings continuously existing through the town of Yaotsu.
Chiune Sugihara’s achievement based on humanity is certainly a symbol of that feeling. He was also raised by the town of Yaotsu. And while there is the threat of depopulation, traditions handed down over generations such as the Yaotsu Festival and Kutami Festival, serve as a place where you can clearly see the love of this town.
People who were raised in Yaotsu have a strong feeling of wanting to maintain and pass on the town to the next generation. That generation is also raised in Yaotsu and maintain those feelings and pass them on to those that come after. Perhaps tradition is not the thing to be delivered forcibly to the next generation but may be naturally spreading like this. The root of all of this is simply the love for this town.
In Yaotsu, time passes more slowly. When the morning comes everyone wakes up, works and once it’s dark they go to bed. Here, you can rediscover this lifestyle rhythm that modern people have forgotten.
Yaotsu reminds modern people of the importance of taking deep breaths in a world where everyone is always busy.