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The site of the 2005 World Exposition in Seto, Aichi.

EXPO 2005 Facts


Beyond Development: Rediscovering Nature's Wisdom
Southeastern section of Seto, Aichi Prefecture
March 25 to September 25, 2005
Projected number of visitors:
25 million
Japan Association for the 2005 World Exposition
(Website) (E-mail)
Humanity will need to explore new ways of relating to the natural environment in the twenty-first century. One experiment to restore our ruptured relationship with nature and with fellow humans at the turn of the new century will be held on the forested grounds of the 2005 World Exposition.

EXPO 2005 will offer a model for the kind of lifestyles we should strive to achieve on Earth by tapping deeply into the unchanging truths that nature and life have to teach us. Thus the theme for EXPO 2005, to be held in the woodlands of Seto, Aichi Prefecture, will be: "Beyond Development: Rediscovering Nature's Wisdom."

Nature has provided humankind with boundless riches. But over the past century humans have come to rely increasingly on technology, recklessly squandering natural and energy resources for their own convenience. The Earth lies wounded and has begun turning its back on humans. We have reached a dangerous impasse; we must now embrace anew the wisdom that resides in nature and in all life forms. The theme of EXPO 2005 is a plea, therefore, for humans to redirect their activities to the pursuit of a new kind of prosperity.

To help visitors gain a deep understanding of the theme, the forest of Seto itself will be the main attraction, to be explored from 12 angles. The "Twelve Faces of the Forest" concept does not mean the division of the venue into 12 zones; rather, it represents 12 different aspects of humankind's relationship with nature. Participating countries, organizations, and businesses will be invited to come up with ideas for events and exhibits that build on this concept.

There are unlimited approaches to exploring EXPO 2005's theme. Preparations are now underway to draw up innovative venue plans and design concepts that will allow visitors to experience a sense of joy and wonder and truly "Rediscover Nature's Wisdom."

(Text by Kimihiro Muraoka)

Forest of Beauty
Humans have created works of beauty when inspired by natural forms and life processes. This forest will invite art forms from all over the world to pursue the origins and secrets of beauty.
Forest of Life
This forest of wonder and discovery attempts to find in the planet's biodiversity, clues to resolving explosive population growth, environmental problems and other serious problems facing humanity.
Forest of Co-Creation
The forest brings together the heterogeneous diversity of nature, and is a place which gives rise to new relationships and phenomena. This forest will study the principle of human collaboration in their creative actions, and actively incorporate them into the arts and into business.
Forest of Study and Play
A school is not our only place of learning. In this respect, the whole forest will become a vast natural school and playground, offering ceramics classes, practical study of herbs, fishing lessons, group observation of wild birds and other activities.
Forest of Earth's Memory
As the phrase "intrinsic nature of existence" implies, this forest will trace the history of the earth and human existence. This forest conceives, for example, a natural history museum, where visitors can experience nature firsthand, becoming the eyes of the birds, the fish and the gigantic ancient reptiles.
Forest of Craft and Technology
The word tekhné or technology, was used in Ancient Greece to mean "the skill of drawing out from nature that which is hidden within it."
This forest proposes a new direction for technology which brings to life its relationship with nature.
Forest of the Sacred
The etymology of the Japanese word for "forest" is an ancient word meaning "place where something sacred appears." This forest will link together sacred places around the world to create an unprecedented panorama in which visitors may experience what humans have held sacred in all times and places.
Forest of Information
The flow of information today bears a striking resemblance to the intricate workings of forest life. This forest will thus be utilized to provoke people to consider networks, information and communication.
Forest of Decimation
Repeated human folly has caused irreparable damage to the earth. This forest of reflection and repentance will exhibit areas of past destruction, and investigate the possibilities for escaping or recovering from our own undoing.
Forest of the Cosmos
Through the work of space development technology, we are stretching our self-awareness beyond the sphere of terrestrial life. This forest will provide an experimental space for us to try to perceive our place in the universe.
Forest of Resonance
If the music made by human beings were to be combined with the wondrous music which vibrates in the forest itself, what would be the result?
This forest will introduce a variety of music from folk songs to techno, which will resonate in its trees and bamboo thickets.
Forest of Resources and the Environment
Can the culture of Satoyama (semi-domesticated woodlands) created by the people of the Japanese countryside over many years be used as a model for cities and life in the 21st century?
This forest will see the birth of a prototype town of the future based on the principles of recycling and revival.