A Small Village with Big Ideas
In this episode, we turn the spotlight on Kosuge Village in Yamanashi prefecture, with a population of about 700. This small community, just west of Tokyo, is drawing increasing attention from around Japan. It has built tiny yet livable houses as a way to get young people to move here. The village is small, but it’s lively and always up for new challenges. At its head is Funaki Naoyoshi. We followed the energetic mayor of this vibrant village.
Funaki was born and grew up in Kosuge. After retiring from the village municipal office at age 52, he ran for the mayoral election in 2012, aiming to realize a village open to everyone.
The Tiny House Project was launched in 2016. The mayor holds a contest every year, asking people around the country to submit design suggestions for tiny houses.
Anyone is welcome to visit the mayor's room. Funaki has been striving to revitalize the village by carefully listening to the opinions and ideas of local residents.