"The mountain village of Tougenkyo-Iya” is a project centering on stay-business which makes efficient use of the empty houses in Iya under Alex Kerr, who is a producer of this project.
It means that we try to leave the beauty of the mountain village and heritage in Japan which have been lost. We are also going to keep them as a sustainable thing having use of current methods.

Thinking back now, it was at the last moment.

In 1971, when he came to Iya for the first time, the old lifestyle still remained, but it was just disappearing.
The people in the fields were working with wearing a straw raincoat knit with grass and irori fireplace was actually used in the house.

Even now, whenever he returns to Iya, he feels like being in the world above clouds. Although there are modernized towns and plains, he seems to feel that only Iya remains the beauty of unspoiled village. This is the same, not in the present day, but in the past.
Actually, it was carved on the gravestone of the Edo period as "祖谷、我阿州(阿波藩)之桃源也” (“Iya is a Tougenkyo in Awa han.”) and for the people in the past seemed to feel to live in another universe like Tougenkyo.

Alex Kerr

Born in Maryland, the U.S. First visit to Japan in 1964.
He appeals in and outside Japan for the need to remain the beauty of Japan and the vanishing current situation, which he experienced in childhood.
He also promotes extensively the activities of arts, speeches and writing in order to leave the next generation. In addition, he also works business to carry on the tradition of the beautiful scenery and culture in many places around Japan.
He reproduces the new style of hospitality in the old renovated house which remains in the east Iya.
He has written, "美しき日本の残像" and "犬と鬼".

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alex-kerr.com