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Aizu Summer School

This Is The Time
For Big Questions

What Is Nature?
What Is It To Be Human?

Turn Within and Without
Discover The Essence

A 5-Days Deep Journey
At Oku-Aizu in Fukushima

AUGUST 17 - 21, 2022

Aizu Summer School 2022

The world is now facing unprecedented and complex problems wrought by modern politics, economy, science, and technology. The problems we solved in the past were comparatively local and lucid enough to easily observe their clear causes and effects. However, various crises that the modern world is challenged with right now are beyond our comprehension of time and space and posed by myriad phenomena entangled with each other.

Aizu Summer School is a 5-day program for young people to find and seek themselves in nature and to tackle open-ended questions in such a world. In the mountains of Oku-Aizu, Fukushima, 20 high school students and university students come together from all across the country and meet a little bit more experienced practitioners and explorers of questions and friends to discuss these questions. Through the conversations and sometimes tranquil mediation in nature, we practice and nurture rich soil to survive and thrive well in this world.

This year's focus goes to "environmental problems" and "science and technology". Today, the word science and technology gives us conflicting impressions. On the one hand, trust and reliance on developing technology worship innovation, but on the other hand, the term Anthropocene represents the environmental overburden that our economical activities cause to nature. Though technology is a necessary key to solving environmental issues, we often overlook the root of its cause: our concept of nature and human beings justified by modern technological development.

The modern environmental problems including climate change are questioning the relationship between humans and nature in an ever more pressing manner.

"What is the worldview that spun out science and technology?"
"How do we form our perspective on humans and nature?"
"How can we face technology and nature?"

We will meet in Aizu this summer for the questions without answers.

Who To Teach

Special Guests


1989年東京都生まれ。映像作家・文化人類学者。神戸大学国際文化学部、パリ社会科学高等研究院(EHESS)人類学修士課程を経て、マンチェスター大学グラナダ映像人類学センターにて博士号を取得した。パリ時代は共同通信パリ支局でカメラマン兼記者として活動した。マンチェスター大学では文化人類学とドキュメンタリー映画を掛け合わせた先端手法を学び、アマゾン熱帯雨林での1年間の調査と滞在撮影を経て、初監督作品となる『カナルタ 螺旋状の夢』を発表。


東京大学大学院新領域創成科学研究科准教授。東京大学大学院新領域創成科学研究科環境学専攻博士課程修了(博士)。著書に、『多声性の環境倫理:サケが生まれ帰る流域をめぐる正統性のゆくえ』(ハーベスト社, 2010年)、編著に『環境倫理学』(鬼頭秀一共編、東京大学出版会、2009年)。日本社会学会若手奨励賞(論文の部)、日本社会学会若手奨励賞(著書の部)、東京大学大学院新領域創成科学研究科新領域研究科長賞受賞。




1980年東京都生まれ。農学博士(農業昆虫学)。米国コーネル大学にて博士号を取得、同大学で研究と教育に従事。2017年にNPO法人SOMAを設立、「ひとが育つ環境をととのえる」をミッションに学びの環境づくりに取り組む。経済産業省 産業構造審議会 教育イノベーション小委員会委員(2021年〜)。ミシマ社より、週刊「学びの未来」と月例「学びの未来 座談会」を独立研究者・森田真生氏と配信中。

Program Overview

  • Date & Place

    August 17-21, 2022 Aizu Sanson Dojo, Minamiaizu Town, Fukushima Prefecture

  • Eligibility

    High school students, university students, and graduate students *High school students must have parental consent *Applicants between the ages of 15 and 25 are eligible to apply, even if they do not belong to a school.

  • Number of participants

    20 people (tentative)

  • Language 

    Mainly in Japanese (English assistance available) 

  • Participation fee

    Free (Program fee, meals, and accommodation are free of charge. Only the cost of transportation to the site and the purchase of books for the pre-program assignment will be on the participants)

  • After Summer School 

    We hope to benefit not only the participants of this program, but also society as a whole. Thus, we expect the participants to also get enrolled in KOTOWARI fellowship, whose purpose is to propose a new form of learning for the high school students and teachers in Japan. (enrollment is optional)   

  • Selection Method

    Selection will be based on essays submitted during the application period and following interviews after the submission of the essays.

  • How to Apply

    Please apply from the designated application form on this page.

  • Application Deadline

    July 20, 2022, 23:59 (Japan time)

  • Selection Result

    Regardless of whether you are selected or not, you will be notified by the end of July. Please note that we will not give individual reasons for selection.

Apply Now!

Deadline July 20, 2022, 23:59 (Japan time)

KOTOWARI Qualities

1. Unconventionality
A person who can come up with a new perspective free from old practice and thinking.

2. Independent thinking
A person who can say and do things based on their own introspection, without being influenced by trends or public opinion.

3. Candid realism
A person who can practice and think down-to-earth without being fooled by idealism and criticism.

4. Logical and abstract thinking
A person who can understand the value of a philosophical point of view and pursue logical and abstract thinking

5. Honest and pure heart
A person who never compromises what is important to them and can learn from both their success and failure

*We do not require you to possess all these traits nor any of them, but in case of exceeding applicants, these are the standards we use.

"Once you slow down, good anything becomes easier."


"By actually going there, I realize this is the place I have been longing to be in without knowing it."

Maybe it is because of a magical place like Oku-Aizu and the special people working there, but what is more powerful was the place where young people like you guys come together and create, represented by the sunset I saw when I got there on that day.

I soon realize that young people coming together there were looking for such a place for a long time."

By meeting with new fellows, I feel my world and vision becoming clearer and open to new possibilities. At the same time, I have more hope for the future of the earth and humanity than before and start to see new paths.

High School Student

Before I came to summer school, I always drew a line between someone with a different background from me. But I started to think of a comfortable way to have a conversation with such kinds of people and learn how to understand their new perspectives.

College Student

To face the questions like what is nature and what is being “rich,” I have gained confidence that I can live without being lost in what is important to me.

College Student

Apply Now!

Deadline: July 20, 2022, 23:59 (Japan time)

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