History of Japanese Green Maps

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Story created by Green Map NYC in July 17, 2017

Green Map has had a long and rich history in Japan, with dozens of maps made in different regions all around the archipelago nation. In fact, the first Green Map Hub was organized in Japan in 2002, providing regional mentoring and support to local leaders in Japan, and later, within Asia.

Green Map Japan was expertly led by Misako Yomosa of Kyoto and Masahiro Horiuchi of Setagaya-Tokyo. Both were already publishing exemplary Green Maps of their own cities. This was an important time for community engagement and several Hub meetings and trainings took place. Extensive press coverage helped jump-start the Japan Hub. In March 2002, the cover story of Lapin map magazine gave readers an exciting introduction to the Green Map System, our universal Icons and locally published Green Maps from Japan and other countries. An ongoing partnership with Asahi news helped reach audiences of all ages, and made local Green Map stories national news.

Led by Yohei Yasuda and David D’heilly, with support from Tama Art University and Masahiro Horiuchi, a high-visibility Green Map Project using six different icons to chart Tokyo’s sustainability ahead of the Tokyo Art Jungle, which is also known as Yamanote-sen Green Map, Tokyo - 山手線グリーンマップ. The  Green Map around Asagaya Station Kids Edition, Tokyo - 阿佐ヶ谷駅周辺グリーンマップ キッズ編,  empowered children to make a Green Map of their own. Later, a terrific ‘summer homework’ Green Map project called Mirai - the Future, involved hundreds of schools.

Eventually, there were 70 Green Map projects of all scales were underway in Japan, some of which continue to this day. The largest initiative was Aichi Green Map, formed in response to the World’s Fair of 2005, and continues to do great work!

Green Map Japan’s resourceful and inclusive approach to Hub development has been closely observed by other regional (Latin America, Europe) and thematic (youth, watershed, bicycle resources) Hubs as they got started and learned from their experience. The Asian network met in 2005 and 2007, involving several countries, and leading to projects like the Green Map Impacts book

This history has made Green Map Japan one of the major international hubs for Green Map System and helped inform residents about the potential about Green Maps nationwide. Rie Nakamura and Keiko Nakagawa continue to lead this effort forward!