Among the hundreds of literary works he produced during his lifetime, this poem Mr. Nicol composed in June 2019 was the first he deemed a “prayer” as well. While taking humanity’s relationship with the forests and the trees as its theme, it can also be regarded as a message for people living through this time of COVID-19.







Restoring Biodiversity to a Forest Lain to Waste

On April 3, 2020, the life of writer and naturalist C.W. Nicol came to a close. He was 79 at the time of his passing. While seeming to recover for a time from the rectal cancer he was diagnosed with in 2016, he apparently resumed treatment following a recurrence in the fall of 2019.

 In 2015, Kokusai Pulp and Paper Co., Ltd. extended an invitation for him to deliver a lecture at a speaking event, occasioning the beginning of KPP’s relation with Nicol. As a firm specializing in paper, working to promote recycling-oriented business aimed at environmental conservation, KPP was sympathetic to his dream of restoring Japan’s natural environment to its original beauteous form and began offering support to his C.W. Nicol Afan Woodland Trust.

 Afan Woodland is a name he bestowed on the forest he purchased in Kurohime, Nagano Prefecture in 1986 after relocating to Japan. In the Welsh language, afan signifies a place where the wind passes through. Over the course of more than three decades, Nicol continued to tend to this forest, which had previously been lain to waste, reviving it to a state of rich biodiversity.

 Today this woodland even serves as the site for efforts to provide emotional healing for children experiencing trauma or disability who are invited to visit.



People Too Are Part of Nature

The richness of nature and people’s mental and physical health are inseparable from one another, yet people had gotten to be overly neglectful of nature in their pursuit of economic growth, Nicol continually objected. On the topic of COVID-19’s recent spread, he left behind the view that it had been the result of an upset in the balance of the natural world, due to the way people had been living without respect for nature. He felt that the distance between people and wild animals that had lost their natural habitat to environmental destruction had grown too close; and that, as a result, a virus that had been confined to the extremes of the Earth, to forests and jungles, had come to be unleashed on the world.


Creating the Future 100 Years Distant

What Nicol aimed for was to build the future that lay a century ahead. KPP greatly values his dream of spreading natural environments rich in biodiversity throughout Japan. As such, we will continue to offer our support for the C.W. Nicol Afan Woodland Trust and will work to practice an environmentally responsible business in order to help build a sustainable world.


Timeline of Collaboration with KPP

July 7, 2015

Nicol lectures on the theme of “Coexistence Between People and Nature” at internal KPP and client-oriented speaking events.


December 1, 2015

KPP signs on as official  sponsor of the C.W. Nicol Afan Woodland Trust and begins supporting his Disaster Recovery Project (Higashi-Matsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture).

March 29, 2016

Papermaking commenced in the Nobiru district of Higashi-Matsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture along with the planting of paper mulberry trees and Oriental paperbush. Under the instruction of washi paper artist Rogier Uitenboogaart, Nicol co-hosts special lectures for elementary school students on planting paper mulberry trees and Oriental paperbush and making washi, an event henceforth held annually.

November 12, 2019

Nicol delivers the introductory presentation of the Afan Woodland and keynote address at the 7th KPP Exhibition. His lecture touches on efforts pursued at the Afan Woodland and the necessity of contact with nature.




December 19, 2019

KPP co-sponsors a Christmas event held by the Afan Woodland Trust at a nursery school affected by the flooding of Nagano Prefecture‘s Chikumagawa River. It supplies the paper for Christmas cards as well.

June 26, 2020

KPP posters 12 Tokyo Metro stations with Nicol’s final message.