"SATOYAMA" is a traditional
form of agricultural environment. "SATO" consists of "Mura"
(village) and "Nora" (paddy field). "YAMA" means mountain.
Traditional rural communities and their surroundings (the "SATOYAMA")
are sustainable natural environments, which have maintained a degree of
complexity and diversity otherwise not seen nowadays. From the Man'yo period,
Japanese people have communed with nature. However, with rural depopulation
and modern agricultural development, these environments have changed substantially.
Since the landscape in the SATOYAMA is diversified with hills, woods,
ponds, marshes, and brooks, etc., various kinds of life inhabit there. By
the good combination of water and woods, nature in the SATOYAMA is just
like a patchwork; in other words, that is many lives' dwelling.
In the SATOYAMA, people and nature coexist side by side in harmony.
Here's some photos of the four seasons in the SATOYAMA in and around Mt.Shigi-san, in western Nara,
the UNESCO World Heritage site.