What we do

Project YATO: Examining 500 Years of Common

Machida City’s Tadao area boasts a rural valley terrain formed by the erosion of hills, known as “yato.” The YATO project is set in the Satoyama belt (undeveloped woodland near populated areas) around the Sizen-no-Kuni daycare center, whose philosophy is “children as the central focus,” and a mountain temple. This art project looks at the commons – common natural/cultural resources and social practices linking people and places – which will endure for the next 500 years, and in the process, participants learn about the area and the community. Working with artists, musicians, experts on the local natural environment and history as well as community groups, YATO organizers run projects and activities that children, the custodians of the next generation, and adults can participate in together.


Tadao district, Machida City


Organized by
Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture), Toukoukai (Social Welfare Corporation)

Events Information

Yatokko domei program

Yatokko domei is a program of year-round workshops and events providing a forum for children to encounter elderly people from the Tadao area and artists. The children who participate in this program are called “Yatokko domei” (“YATO kids’ alliance”), and as a scheme in which children and adults join forces to create new platforms for playing and learning, the aim is to provide opportunities for children to encounter local history and culture.

The study and practice of hub formation /gathering places

In light of knowledge acquired through the study of local history and culture, we consider the sort of places (both unusual and ordinary) where people will gather for the next 500 years, attempting to actually create such places. We will create environments where children in the Tadao area can feel at home, organize and publish material collected in the course of research, and implement the Yatokko domei program. In addition, we will initiate platforms and opportunities for different generations to mingle and share time and experiences together, such as the YATO Summer Fair, modeled on a traditional matsuri festival, and YATO Yearend.

The study of local history and culture

Through regular verbatim interview sessions with local residents, we will dig up local stories, including local history and folklore.

“YATO Kawaraban”
This is a newspaper-format publication for conveying interviews and news about the project to children.
6th edition (published in September 2021)
7th edition (published in February 2022)

YATO Kyoudoshi
One of the initiatives under the YATO project, this is a compilation of records of verbatim interviews with people living in and around Tadao.

YATO Picture Book
In order to give children as young as elementary school children an idea of YATO project values and a picture in their minds of its activities, the characters we have come across in YATO activities, and the annual events we have learned about through studying the area have been compiled in a picture book.

YATO Archive(records/archives)

We will extensively examine how to pass down knowledge of the history and culture of the region and information about the YATO project itself over the next 500 years, as well as how to record the project.


Other Fiscal Years