Mr. Tatsuya Uei Mr. and Mrs. Hitomi Uei started a self-supporting forestry business in the mountain forests of Hokuryu Town (Hokkaido)!

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

In April 2020, a young couple moved to Hokuryu-cho and started a "self-supporting forestry business" in the town's mountain forests. They are Mr. Tatsuya Kamii (28 years old) and Mrs. Hitomi Hitomi (31 years old).

Self-supporting forestry is a sustainable forest management method that achieves both profitability and environmental conservation at a high level. It is expected to be a "key to regional development" that utilizes the forests that occupy 70% of Japan's land, and is gradually spreading throughout the country.

Mr. Tatsuya and Mrs. Hitomi Uei

Mr. and Mrs. Tatsuya and Hitomi Uei purchased 25 ha of forestland in Hokuryu-cho, acquired a vacant house in Wa, Hokuryu-cho, and started a "self-supporting forestry business. We interviewed Mr. and Mrs. Uei during their busy schedule.

Their Encounter

Tatsuya Uei is from Sapporo City and Hitomi is from Shinhidaka Town. They are both seniors and juniors at Dairyoku Gakuen University (Ebetsu City). They both hit it off in the Wildlife Conservation and Management Laboratory of the Faculty of Environmental Symbiosis. Ms. Tatsuya has a Master's degree from the Graduate School of Dairy Science.

Tatsuya Uei

Tatsuya Uei

Tatsuya has always loved nature and was an outdoorsman who loved camping, so he wanted to work in a job related to nature. His family consists of three siblings, and all three are passionate about soccer. Tatsuya was a member of the soccer club in elementary and junior high school.

To study nature in Hokkaido, national universities include Hokkaido University and Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, but their faculties were limited. Therefore, I chose Dairy Farmers' University because I wanted to study a broad range of environmental studies covering the entire natural environment.

At university, he completed a master's degree in dairy science. He was attracted to the fascination of nature in the forests of Malaysia, which he visited as part of his laboratory training.

In the laboratory at the university, I studied frogs. In my master's program, I did research on ecological analysis of Ezo sika deer. But I felt that it was a little different for me to do this kind of research for the rest of my life," says Tatsuya.

Hitomi Uei

Hitomi Uei

Hitomi grew up in the midst of nature, with her family's home being a temple in the mountains of the town of Shinhidaka. When she was in elementary school, she wanted to become a veterinarian. When deciding on a career path after high school, she decided to attend Dairy University because she wanted to learn about animals.

The Hidaka region has numerous accidents and crop damage caused by Ezo sika deer. He became a certified hunter when he was in college, partly due to the need to control the number of Ezo sika deer in order to maintain environmental enhancement. After obtaining his certification, he learned to hunt and dismantle deer and has done so multiple times.

Meeting a Wonderful Grandfather in Kutchan-cho Who Changed My Life

After completing his master's program, Tatsuya worked at a museum in the town of Kutchan. Around that time, an encounter with an elderly man living in the forests of Kutchan Town brought about a major change in his life.

The old man is an old man who lives in the nature of the forest and lives a very nice life. His garden is filled with spring water from the foot of Mt. Yotei, which is as good as a blowout park, and he lives on the spring water.

He owned land in a good location, not too far from the paved road. He is a very personable old man and well-liked by all.

My ultimate goal in my own life is to create an image of my future grandfather," he said! I felt that a salaryman's life of doing the same job for decades was boring, so in the future, I would like to live like a grandfather who lives in the forests of Kutchan-cho, and live out my life quietly in the forest," says Mr. Uei of his vision for the future.

(Two years of work at Onishi Forestry Co.

Regarding self-supporting forestry, my desire to live in the forests of Shiraoi Town, which I learned about while I was in Kutchan Town, and my desire to do work related to forests, grew.

While researching on the Internet, I came across Onishi Forestry Co. Onishi Forestry is a company that promotes self-supporting forestry in Hokkaido. The company established the Hokkaido Self-Cut Forestry Promotion Council in 2016, connecting its traditional activities with the self-supporting forestry industry. A multifaceted network has been formed. The decision to hire was made after conveying our thoughts and feelings at the interview.

In April 2018, he moved to Shiraoi-cho as soon as possible. (He worked at Onishi Forestry Co. for 2 years as an apprentice. My job is to ship firewood (maki), hodaki (shiitake mushrooms), and charcoal. He goes to the site, makes a road, cuts down trees with a chainsaw, and transports them by truck. I performed field work such as chopping firewood, putting the wood in the charcoal kiln to burn, and other work to get the charcoal in and out of the kiln.

Thanks to you, I've become a strong man," Tatsuya says.

Onishi Forestry Co.

We are engaged in the manufacture and sale of charcoal, wood vinegar solution, firewood, etc. in Shiraoi-cho, Hokkaido. Onishi himself thinned broadleaf forests and managed the forests...

Started married life at the same time as finding a job

She moved from Kutchan-cho to Shiraoi-cho and started married life at the same time she started working. Hitomi and her baby is due this October 2020. Congratulations!

Social Contribution Significance of Self-supporting Forestry

Mr. Tatsuya talks about the appeal of self-lumbering forestry.

One of the social contribution significance of self-lumbering forestry is to 'protect nature. I love nature and have always had a strong desire to protect the natural beauty of forests. I have always wondered how to protect nature.

Rather than preserving nature, today's mainstream forestry practices cut down all the trees and turn the mountains into bald hills. Then the creatures that lived there disappear, the trees are gone, and the vegetation changes.

In addition, bamboos have strong roots, making it difficult for trees to grow if they become infested. Planting trees there requires repeated mowing. And the forests are prone to disasters, such as soil runoff during heavy rains. Soil in mountains is very important. There is soil, there are trees, and humans use them to live.

In contrast, the "self-thinning forestry" found in Kutchan Town involves putting in small paths that do not collapse, and thinning about 30% of the entire forest about once every 10 years.

Since only trees with good qualities are left, the remaining trees will grow thicker and produce better lumber in the future. The growth of the wood will also improve, and the overall thickness of the wood, etc., will be more efficient when viewed in total.

In the basic concept of "self-supporting forestry," trees are not planted, so good trees grow naturally. Self-supporting forestry" is forestry that preserves the natural power of the forest.

I thought that if the number of self-supporting forestry workers increased, we would be able to protect nature. In the future, I would like to be a model case and increase the number of self-supporting forestry companies in the Sorachi area to protect nature," said Tatsuya Uei emphatically.

Encounter with the mountain forests of Hokuryu Town

Mr. Uei's self-supporting forestry and activity base

Purchased approximately 25 ha of forest in Hokuryu-cho

Last year, around September 2019, we started looking for a mountain forest. We consulted with the forestry cooperative and searched the internet for information on comprehensive forest information websites, but were unable to find a mountain that met our requirements for a broadleaf forest.

At that time, through a relative or acquaintance, we caught word that a mountain forest might be for sale in Hokuryu Town, so we decided to check it out. We inquired and found out, and the conditions matched.

The purchased forest in Hokuryu-cho is approximately 25 ha in area, and is half natural forest and half planted forest. The natural forest is a mountain of natural forest and broadleaf forest, with Quercus crispula and white birch as the main trees, and other species such as linden and Japanese maples. Half artificial forest larch, etc.

Forest registration completed this year, January 2020.

Joined Hokkaido Self-Trimming Forestry Promotion Council

He immediately joined the Hokkaido Self-Cutting Forestry Promotion Council. The Hokkaido Self-Trimming Forestry Promotion Council holds seminars and training sessions, which Mr. Uei actively participates in and learns a lot from.

Hokkaido Council for the Promotion of Self-supporting Forestry

Promoting self-supporting forestry in Hokkaido...

Hokkaido Council for the Promotion of Self-supporting Forestry

Voluntary organization "Hokuryu Satoyama Club" established

In promoting self-supporting forestry, he founded and became the representative of "Hokuryu Satoyama Club," a voluntary organization in the Sorachi area. Currently has 7 members.

Utilize subsidy system "Grant for measures to demonstrate multifunctional roles of forests and mountain villages

Mr. Uei is taking advantage of the Forestry Agency's "Grant for Measures to Demonstrate the Multifunctional Roles of Forests and Villages," a grant program that supports activities for unmanaged mountain forests (see the following excerpt from the Forestry Agency website "Grant for Measures to Demonstrate the Multifunctional Roles of Forests and Villages").

The grant for forest and mountain village multifunctional measures supports activities such as conservation of satoyama forests, utilization of forest resources, and forest conservation and management activities conducted by activity organizations consisting of three or more people, including local residents and forest owners, in order to demonstrate the multifunctional role of forests and to maintain and revitalize mountain and village communities.

The maximum amount of support is 5 million yen/year per organization (government grant). A three-year activity plan is required for adoption.

<Support Menu
Local environment preservation type: Activities to maintain the landscape of satoyama forests, and activities to cut down and remove invasive bamboos.
Forest resource utilization type: Logging activities for use as firewood and shiitake mushroom logs
Forest Function Enhancement Type: Construction and renovation of footpaths and work paths

Mr. Uei's business model of self-supporting forestry

Sales of various forest resources. Firewood is the main product, and various demands exist for hodwood, birch bark work, yellowfin bark, grape vines, wood chippings, Abies sachalinensis oil, Abies sachalinensis trees, camping fire wood, etc. The company will be experimenting with feasible methods one by one in the future.

Future Dreams of Tatsuya and Hitomi Uei

Tatsuya Uei

We want to raise awareness of nature!

'To raise awareness of nature among foresters and townspeople. We also want to increase the number of self-supporting forestry workers and promote a sustainable lifestyle for the future.
At the same time, we would like to proactively carry out activities that contribute to the community and are beneficial to others.

Hitomi Uei

I would like to run a cafe in a mountain cabin!

My dream is to hunt in my own mountain. I would like to live in a cabin and run a café. I would like to make it a place where people from all walks of life can gather and share Ezo sika deer meat.

I hope to build a family that loves nature so much that the children who will be born in the future will run around in it," he said.

🌼 🌼 🌼 🌼 🌼 🌼 🌼 🌼 🌼 🌼 🌼 🌼

Under Nature (Shizenka) Instagram

The Instagram is updated by his wife.

Various Products

Firewood, hodagaki, birch bark, etc. We are currently seeking to commercialize various other products.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions or requests regarding sales. We look forward to hearing from you!

Under Nature Contact

Instagram Messages

最初の仕事:林内調査 と笹刈り(2020年7月16日)
First job: forest survey and bamboo cutting (July 16, 2020)
Adding a path will make it easier to manage the mountain (July 24, 2020).
Putting a path on a mountain is a seemingly simple but very difficult task (July 25, 2020).

道つけの過程で発生する#支障木 の白樺から、樹皮をいただきました(2020年7月29日)
We received bark from a # hindrance tree birch that is generated during the process of road construction (July 29, 2020).

We are amazed and moved by the sincere and wonderful thoughts of Mr. and Mrs. Uei, who are working hard in the mountain forests of Hokuryu Town, pursuing their dreams!

We would like to firmly support both of you in your activities in self-supporting forestry by disseminating information to the best of our ability. Please keep up the good work. Thank you!
The wonderful Mr. and Mrs. Uei, who live in harmony with the great nature, placing themselves in the midst of nature and feeling the breath of the mountain forests and woodlands!

With endless love, gratitude and prayers for their wonderful life together in the town of Hokuryu, rich in nature.

◇ Photography and Editing: Noboru Terauchi Reporting and Writing: Ikuko Terauchi

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