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Program 1216

1. Paul Rusch
2. Toyota in Georgetown
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Season 12 Menu

Jefferson County

For more information:
• Kiyosato Educational Experiment Project, 3545 Kiyosato, Takana-cho, Hokuto-shi, Yamanashi-ken 407-0311 Japan, 0551-48-2114
American Committee for KEEP, 825 Green Bay Rd., Suite 122, Wilmette, IL 60091, (847) 853-2502

Producer, videographer, audio: Ernie Lee Martin
Editors: Ernie Lee Martin, Joy Flynn

Across the Waters

Paul Rusch

Deep in Japan’s Yatsugatake Highlands, you’ll find an annual festival where Japanese musicians play bluegrass and the Kentucky state flag flies over all. The celebration honors Paul Rusch, a Louisville native who found his life’s work in the Far East and became a national hero to the Japanese.

Rusch, the son of a Louisville grocer, arrived in Japan in 1925 as a 28-year-old volunteer who had answered the call to help rebuild a YMCA facility destroyed by an earthquake. He soon fell in love with the country and decided to stay. He got a job teaching economics at Rikkyo (St. Paul’s) University in Tokyo, but discovered his true calling as a lay Episcopal missionary working on economic and social development projects. He formed a Japanese branch of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew for young people; helped build schools, churches, and clinics; and introduced innovative high-altitude agricultural methods—not to mention John Deere tractors—to help pull the highland region out of poverty. In 1938, he built a retreat for his students in Kiyosato, a village surrounded by mountains where he also made his own home.

When Japan and the U.S. went to war in 1941, Rusch again felt the pull of duty, this time to his native country. So he returned to America and enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving for the duration of World War II. He next saw Japan as a member of Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s headquarters staff in 1945. Seeing the devastation wrought by the war evidently strengthened Rusch’s conviction that rural Japan was where he was most needed, because he soon returned to Kiyosato, where we would live for the rest of his life.

Shortly after the war, Rusch founded the Kiyosato Educational Experiment Project, a service organization that developed and modeled agricultural and building projects for replication in other communities. Based on the idea that the most successful development projects are those that help people learn to help themselves, KEEP was grounded in ideals of service, faith, volunteerism, and cross-cultural understanding. Though the specific focus of its projects has evolved over the years, KEEP is still an international community development organization dedicated to helping people facing similar issues learn from each other across geographic and cultural boundaries.

KEEP also welcomes individuals and groups to its Kiyosato headquarters for retreats, workshops, arts and crafts classes, and conferences. The facilities include a hotel and cabins, a Western-style restaurant, hiking trails among spectacular mountain scenery, and an agricultural research facility and nature center. A statue of Paul Rusch faces Mt. Fuji, and the house where he lived is preserved as a museum. There, amid displays honoring his many other good works, is a room devoted to another of Rusch’s gifts to the Japanese people: American football.

Scott County

For more information:
Yuko-En on the Elkhorn, 700 Cincinnati Pike (U.S. 25), Georgetown, KY 40324, (502) 316-4554

On Location

In keeping with the Japanese theme, Dave hosts this edition from Yuko-En on the Elkhorn, the official Kentucky-Japan friendship garden. The six-acre site hosts a Japanese-style stroll garden with koi pond, Zen rock garden, arched bridges, waterfalls, and more.

Scott County

For more information:
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, 1001 Cherry Blossom Way, Georgetown, KY 40324, (800) TMM-4485

Producer, editor: Joy Flynn
Videographer: Prentice Walker
Audio: Brent Abshear

Green Machines

Toyota’s Georgetown plant

December of 2005 marked the 20th anniversary of Toyota Motor Manufacturing’s announcement that its first vehicle assembly plant in America would be located in Georgetown, Kentucky. To commemorate the company’s first two decades in the Commonwealth, host Dave Shuffett visited the factory to take a look around, and in particular to explore its environmental policies.

Toyota, of course, was the first auto manufacturer to produce less-polluting hybrid vehicles in America. But it is also committed to reducing the impact of the manufacturing process itself on the environment. In Georgetown, workers sort all waste into several streams for re-use, recycling, or composting. The compost helps to nourish an on-site garden and greenhouse that provide trees and flowers to landscape the Toyota campus itself, pumpkins for workers’ children at Halloween, and tons of vegetables for local food pantries. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (or TMMK) was designated a zero-landfill site in 2005, meaning that no waste products were sent to the dump.

TMMK also treats its own wastewater before discharging it into the local sewage system, has worked with parts suppliers to institute reusable packaging, and finds ways to make use of almost every bit of steel that used to be discarded during the manufacturing process—even the small metal rectangles punched out of doors so that windows can be inserted. Besides enhancing the company’s reputation as a corporate citizen, such efforts pay off on the bottom line. Toyota estimates that its American plants have collectively saved millions of dollars through recycling alone.

Kentucky Life previously visited Georgetown to explore Toyota’s impact on the community in Program 201 (in honor of TMMK’s 10th anniversary).

SEASON 12 PROGRAMS: 120112021203120412051206120712081209121012111212
1213121412151216121712181219122012211222: Dr. Clark’s Kentucky Treasures

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