Rural area

Irodori (いろどり)

The Irodori ("Assorted colours") project was initiated in Kamikatsu, a mountainous community in Tokushima Prefecture. The project sells 320 different kinds of leaves picked fresh from the mountains each day, shipped to the cities to be used as decoration for Japanese dishes, cultural sculpture, ornaments, etc. The commercial success of this agricultural cooperative by the local elders (average age is 70, and most members are women) has caught the international attention.

Ogawanosho Co. Ltd. (小川の庄)

The Ogawanosho company was created in 1986, and more than half of its 90 employees are 60 years or older. Faced with population ageing in this rural community, the original aim was to promote viable employment for the older persons in the community. They sell fresh vegetables, food products, and other manufactured goods. The success of the company showed what the work of the elderly, especially older women, can do for their community.

Cyber family (사이버 가족)

Research Institute of Science for the Better Living of the Elderly implemented the intergenerational "cyber family" programme in 2005, funded by the Korean Commission for Youth. Online exchange and discussion was held between middle school students in rural areas and older persons in cities. Students posted what they wanted to share (e.g. worry about their study) and older persons posted replies based on their wisdom and experience. The group also had several offline activities to meet one other in person. 

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