Morotsuka Village is in northwest Miyazaki Prefecture. It is a small village with a population of approximately 1,700 and an area of 187.5 km2. With 95% of the village’s land covered with abundant forests, its people have lived among nature throughout the ages.
Everyone living here will tell you that this “life of coexistence with the forest” is nothing out of the ordinary. They were told by those that came before them to respect the forest, and as a matter of course they will pass this way of life onto future generations. The people of Morotsuka Village come together with their families and the community, growing along with the natural, great forest around them.
The forests of Morotsuka Village are almost all privately owned and managed, passed down from generation to generation.
Because of this, the forests are not just composed of coniferous trees like cypress and cedar commonly used as building materials. The forests are composed of a myriad of tree types, with hardwood stands of oak and beech used for the cultivation of shiitake mushrooms, as well as naturally-occurring subtropical laurel forests.
As the people of the village have planted trees where they would grow best according to the materials they needed, and then leaving them there, a striking growth pattern has developed along the mountainsides into what is called a “mosaic forest”.
This way of life in Morotsuka Village, which creates a good environment for both its people and the natural living world around them, was recognized in December 2015 when the village was designated as a World Agricultural Heritage.