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Kate Kinoshita

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Kate, born to a British mother and Japanese father, spent her childhood years in Kobe and Tokyo. As a teenager she returned to the UK where she continued her education at a boarding school before winning a place in Chinese Studies at Hertford College, Oxford University.

In 2013 upon graduating, Kate moved to Taiwan for two years where she continued studying Mandarin Chinese, supporting herself by teaching English and yoga. She also found work as a trilingual interpreter supporting the cast on a film being made locally. Many Japanese were also involved in the production. Working with them reminded her of her roots in Japan and she felt a strong urge to return there, the first time in 12 years.

Initially, Kate spent six months working on farms in Yamanashi and Nagano Prefectures, where she picked up knowledge and skills on the locally developed version of permaculture. She says during this time she came to appreciate the Japanese attitude towards nature, their intimate connection with the mountains and water, reflected in the indigenous Shinto religion, and in the Zen attitude towards appreciation of beauty in transience. Inspired, Kate decided to move back to Japan permanently.

Before doing so, however, over the winter of 2015~ 16 Kate spent four months in Punjab and Gujarat, where she visited farms and helped on the production of a documentary, which related the lives of small-scale farmers pursuing their livelihoods in a world of multinational agri-business. During this period she also undertook yoga teacher training in Rishikesh.

Kate is now settled into Nagano Prefecture working on a project creating a comprehensive information database for eczema sufferers and also at a Japanese guest house. In her free time she leads yoga, meditation and breath-work sessions for the guests and locals. She also enjoys long bike rides through the surrounding countryside and making natto fermented soya beans, a very healthy but, when it comes to taste, divisive dish.

Kate joined Walk Japan as a Tour Leader in 2016.