I came to Poland in 1989. While taking a winter’s walk in the Gorce mountains I found myself in the fields above the village of Harklowa. The view of the snow covered Tatra mountains and the Dunajec valley reminded me of the the mountains on Hokkaido where I spent my High School years.
W I didn’t feel fulfilled in Japan. It bothered me how everything was so arranged. At the age of 55, Japanese women retire into a void. Realizing I was enchanted by this place, I decided to stay in Poland, buy a meadow and build a hotel. The decision was made. I had no idea, however, what it meant to build in a place that had no access road.The road to my property was made by digging a meter and a half into a gulley in the forest.
It wasn’t possible to drive through the deep mud even with a tractor or a four-wheel drive vehicle. I had to cover the road with stones. To build the villa it was necessary to haul sand, rocks, cement, bricks, wood and all other building materials up the mountain. Construction began in 1991 and was happily completed two and a half years later. The problems with the road continued however, but the wooden villa with beautiful views from all 12 rooms with space for 24 people was finished. It also contained a stylish living room with a fireplace. I was mindful of the environment and built an ecological sewage system. It cost me my health building the villa, but I gained twice the amount of strength and friends. In the meantime my children came to Poland and we went through many difficult challenges together.
Japanese microorganisms in Poland
W In 2003 I became acquainted with EM Technology (Effective Microorganism, which was discovered by the Japanese professor, Teruo Higa, in Okinawa). This technology was introduced into Poland by the firm, Greenland. A meeting with the president of Greenland made my dreams of what I call “Total Ecological Lifestyle” come true. I had had a lot of problems with the quality of my water, difficulty in raising vegetables and herbs, use of kitchen refuse and disposal of sewage. I was aware that all of that had a negative impact on my health. I had always been interested in environmental problems and EM was revolutionary for me. First I changed my water and sewage systems. I was forced to use chlorine and other strong chemicals to assure the safety of my guests while using the pool and jacuzzi. Thanks to EM products that all changed! Cleaning the building, using the kitchen waste, the quality of the soil all improved.I raised goats, sheep and chickens back then as well and thanks to EM products I was able to eliminate animal odors and improve the quality of life and environment around my home.
A few years later some friends and I formed a Polish-Japanese association, “Tecza” (Rainbow). The goal is wide-ranging cultural exchange, including ecology and education. We began by improving the natural environment in our immediate surroundings. Celebrations such as, “Cherry Blossom Holiday”, “Flying Kites” and many others helped to strengthen cooperation between Japan and Poland.
Many of the cultural and educational events were made possible thanks to EM. The products are safe and effective for both man and the environment. Thanks to them, Villa Akiko functions as an ecological site and a place where young people can be trained in the principles of ecology and a healthy lifestyle.
Ariake – my place on earth
I named the place where the villa stands Ariake and it is listed in the official registry of Polish geographical locations. Ariake is a Japanese word for the moment when the moon is still shining brightly but the dawn is about break. I was born on the coast of the Ariake Sea in Kyushu and my last residence in Japan was in Nagano Hotaka by the holy mountain Ariake. I am connected to Ariake.
Life flows much more quickly in Japan. People constantly push along because they have to get where they’re going on time. I prefer the Polish tempo. I may be late, but I can enjoy the flower fields, the breeze in the pines, the bird songs and the clouds. I always return to my village, Harklowa, with joy. My children and grandchildren spend vacations and summers here (I have five grandchildren in Poland and three in Japan). I AM FINALLY HOME!!!