Eight generations ago, Ando Shuusaku’s ancestors migrated from Shōdo island to Hara. Mr. Ando is a farmer near Hara castle, and today he continues the tomato farming which his grandfather started. Underground water from the base of Mt. Unzen runs to the hill where Hara castle once stood, meaning that the soil in this area is fertile. In fact, tomatoes from Minami-Shimabara-shi account for approximately 70% of all tomatoes grown within Nagasaki prefecture.

All of the area’s tomatoes are sold under the name “Hara tomato”, with one exception. Mr. Ando sells his under the original name “Arimaato”. This is a combination of the Italian word “animato” (meaning “lively” or “animate”) and Arima (where Hara castle was built).

“It feels as though I am always being protected by this land. This is the best place for me”, says Mr. Ando. Although depopulation is happening, it seems that he is here to stay.