Nanmoku: Afterglow of the Silk Road

Nanmoku is a village that lies deep in the mountains of Gunma Prefecture, northwest of Tokyo, which blossomed during the period of Japan's modernization over a century ago. It grew and prospered thanks to sericulture -- raising the silkworms whose cocoons were the source of raw silk, an essential cornerstone of Japan's efforts to bring in foreign currency and new technology. However, the development of synthetic fibers led to a drop in demand for raw silk, and this led to the decline of Nanmoku as well. Its population has dropped from over 10,000 some 60 years ago to only about 1,700 residents now. But thanks to its remote setting, the village has been spared large-scale development, and its traditional culture and buildings have been preserved much like a time capsule. On this episode of Journeys in Japan, Teodora Forgo from Hungary explores the beautiful natural setting and fascinating history of Nanmoku Village, deep in the mountains northwest of Tokyo.