In January 2000, Shinjiro Go and his wife Ikuko started a farm with their son, near the coast in Numazu City, Shizuoka, about 100km southeast ofTokyo. The Catholic couple did so out of concern for their son, who had been hospitalized eight times in nine years and who was taking an increasing amount of prescribed medicine. Their son had been diagnosed with schizophrenia 22 years ago, when he was 20 years old.
These days, though, Shinjiro’s son’s condition has improved, requiring him to only take half the amount of medicine he had been on. He hasn’t been hospitalized for the last eight years.
The Go family farm, Easy Go Farm, is now a place of “mental recuperation” for the mentally disabled and their families. “The root cause of mental illness is something science hasn’t solved yet, so even if we can control the symptoms with medicines, we can almost never cure the disease itself entirely,” Shinjiro says.
“I’ve come to understand that improving the patient’s interpersonal relationships can have a big impact. I have heard from many who have come to Easy Go Farm that they have learned by improving relationships with others just how powerful love is.”