Thank you for being a part of the Kokoro Community! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Yoshiyasu Kaji and I'm the founder of SynRα.
I want to create a system that delivers nature's happiness to everyone around the world. Our dream it to connect people with the happiness and oneness of nature! In the future, I would like to connect many people with nature's happiness through organic farmers in places such as Silicon Valley, India, Mexico, EU and so on.
I studied at Osaka City University (Entrepreneurship). During that time I wanted to start a business and was saved by the healing of the great nature when I became depressed in my third year at university. My grandfather's experience of farming in Kyoto's Maizuru area, an area known for its farming community, made me want to start a business focused on farming.
At the end of my college days, I went to Silicon Valley to attend an entrepreneurship program and this helped my dream of bringing the richness of nature to the world.
After that, I trained and became an organic farmer at the Umemoto farm located north of Kyoto. During that time, I was introduced to Legend Nature Journey. I realized the life-changing journey of nature and started the development of nature experience tours to heal my own mind and body.
We are currently engaged in organic farming in Chiba, and are building a platform that connects people with nature and vegetables in the wilderness every day!
Why did you decide to create SynRa and what is its mission?
I wanted to connect people with the happiness and healing of nature, and decided to start SynRα as a way to deliver oneness and nature's happiness to people around the world!
I am guided by oneness and nature, and because of this I became an organic farmer. I've learned that happiness comes from being connected with the earth and nature. I also realized that vegetables, the earth, the sun and the moon are all connected.
SynRα comes from the Japanese idiom "森羅万象" or “SynRa Bansho”. It means that all insects, vegetables, rocks and soil have a soul and are linked together as one. When we connect with the world, I believe that we can be peaceful and happy and live in the original flow of life. So, when humans connect to SynRα, Nature's Source, we become refreshed and connect deeply to ourselves.
Our mission is to connect people all over the world, to bring them back to nature and to help them find oneness, peacefulness and happiness. I have realized from my own experiences, that this is the way to happiness.
We want to create a world connected through happiness by living with the earth and nature anytime, anywhere!
What makes SynRa's farm tours unique and what vision do you have for these tours in the future?
SynRα's Retreat Farming Experience Tour is an "Awareness Tour". A way to discover who you truly are and what you want to do in the future. In nature, we can experience healing of the mind and body. In wilderness, I've come to realize my own problems and what I can do to heal.
Our vision for the future is to create a system in which our awareness tours are conducted around the world through the experience of nature and agriculture.
The SynRα Star Guide will select the best organic farmers from around the world and offer tours of their farms. The Star Guide opens the mind and body of the participants and travelers.
We aim to grow a platform that delivers oneness, awareness, happiness and the healing of nature. This way, people can live in the best world in their own way, happily!
What have you achieved with your tours so far and what challenges have you faced?
So far, we have delivered more than 60 tours with organic farmers in Kansai and Kanto to more than 180 people. Many of our participants are at a turning point in their lives and through our tours, are able to hear their heart's voice.
Our current challenge is to expand our system to gather participants, guides and organic farmers. We are focusing on our pricing and PR strategy, targeting initiatives, hiring the right guides and meeting the appropriate organic farmers located close to the city.
How is farming in Japan unique from other countries?
Japanese farmers are very polite and hard-working. We use delicate, hand-made sowing, weeding, harvesting and packing techniques. How we plant sees, grow our vegetable and handle our weeds are unique from other countries. Japanese soil is also good for growing vegetable.
In addition, Japan's Kubota and other agricultural equipment manufacturers are developing machines and technology to help with sowing and harvesting.
How do you select which Japanese farmers to partner with?
Having trained as an organic farmer in Kyoto for two years, I was able to connect with fellow organic farmers and organic farming companies.
I also connect with organic farmers who share my vision. As a selection criteria, we consider their organic farming method, their focus on improving the soil, the atmosphere of their field, and their enjoyment of farming work. We also look for farmers who have a unique vision for their farms.
What are some of the challenges these farmers face?
One of the issues facing farmers is that they are not earning enough money. Since organic farmers don’t have big distribution channels like JA (Japan Agriculture), they have to create their own sales and distribution channels. But the farmer’s main job is to grow and harvest vegetables, therefore they don't have time to develop these channels. Labor shortages are also an issue.
How are these issues being solved and how do you personally think they can be solved?
We offer a service to introduce our farmers to our organic restaurant partners in order provide a place for them to sell their produce. Our tour participants also buy the farmers' vegetables. By visiting our farming experiences, tour participants can even help with the labor shortages!
To solve the issues organic farmers are facing, we believe the government should provide support, or create a group to support organic farmers in supermarkets, restaurants, etc., and to continuously promote purchasing. They should provide more options for farmers and encourage people in the city to become farmers through such things as training programs.
I think it's important to create a system whereby organic farmers can do their best in the large framework of the private sector and the government. They could provide more subsidies for farmers and create a more supportive environment to support organic farmers.
What can we as individuals (both locally and abroad) do to work more closely with these farmers?
We believe it is important to bring together a vision of the happiness that comes from nature, the direct experience of growing vegetables and touring organic farms. We want to connect people directly with farmers, which we call "ultra traceability", so they can personally ask questions about farming, vegetables and the state of farming in general.
We also want people to visit restaurants that support organic farmers.
I would ultimately like to work with organic farmers around the world.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the Kokoro community?
Our mission is to bring the oneness and happiness of nature to people all over the world. We also want to contribute to making the Kokoro Community peaceful and happy!
Thank you for the wonderful opportunity!
Let's spread the oneness and happiness of nature all over the world together! !
May all beings be one and happy with Nature 🌱
With love and gratitude,
For more information on SynRa, please visit their website at http://www.synra-universe.com