MA, Japanese Studies, April 2011
International Institute Individual Fellowship
Emily Canosa worked as an intern with Earth Day Market, a nonprofit farmers market organization in Tokyo, Japan. She translated and generated new materials and created connections to expand awareness of Earth Day Market activities to English-speaking audiences in Tokyo. Emily also worked in a variety of ways to narrow the gap that so often exists between farmers and consumers.
I began my one-month internship with Earth Day Market, an NPO that organizes organic farmers’ markets in the Tokyo area. One of my primary tasks while working with this organization was to informally interview farmers and other vendors in order to write articles and blogs introducing them to market customers, attempting to narrow the gap between producer and consumer. In addition to chatting with vendors at the markets, I also had the opportunity to visit and write about market participants who invited me into their homes, where I was able to get to know them and see their farms and communities.
My other main task was to bring information about Earth Day Market and its activities to a broader audience—particularly the community of English speakers in the Tokyo area. This involved extensive translation work, the use of a range of social networking sites, and establishing new relationships and networks with various groups and individuals involved with Tokyo “green” and food-related communities.
Of course, my internship enhanced my language skills, exposed me to nonprofit business operations in Japan, and linked me into agricultural and environmental networks that will be priceless as I continue to work with sustainability issues in relation to Japan and the world. However, the most valuable part of this experience was the relationships and friendships I was able to form with the people I met. They constantly opened my eyes to new ways to see and treat the world. I like to think that I came away from my internship not only a more refined academic and professional but also more enriched as a human being.
The challenges of climate change, diminishing natural resources and a sluggish global economy have brought people across the world together to develop new ways to respect and restore our environment and communities. However, the information sharing among groups dedicated to these issues and strategies, especially across international borders, is shockingly minimal. It is my goal to contribute to the exchange of knowledge, experience, and understanding between America and Japan through the development of an environmentally-focused website. The site will seek to connect people striving toward the development of sustainable, locally and globally engaged communities, in order to learn from one another and work together to accomplish individual or collaborative projects and goals.