culture Food and Drink Japan


Wangari Mathaai

I read an article about Wangari Maathai, who was a founder of Green Belt Movement. When she was a child, her family could not afford to take education.  However, after her effort, she graduated from University of Pittsburgh.  In 1997, she started planting activity called “Green Belt Movement” in her country with poor women.  In 2005, she was inspired by the Japanese word, “Mottainai” when she came to Japan.  She regarded that this word included the feeling of respect to the limited resources and importance of life, not only expressing 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle).  Her movement spreading and “Mottainai” became famous to the world and it is in the process to be a world common language.

There are many products in Japan which are inspired by Mottainai, such as Furoshiki or My-Hashi.  If you use Furoshiki, you don’t need to waste plastic bags, and if you carry a pair of chopsticks, you don’t have to use disposable chopsticks.

In this wealthy country, having Mottainai spirits brings this world happy and peace.  I would like  people to remember this Mottainai campaign by Wangari Maathai.