John's Work

Introducing Dr. John Gathright, Ph.D.


Professor and researcher at Chubu University.

Books, TV and Media

Television presenter, producer and published author.

Tree Climbing

Founder of Tree Climbing Japan and TreeHab.

Innovator & Entrepreneur

Creative projects and other endeavors.

Keynote Speaker

Sought-after speaker and story-teller on a variety of subjects.


Dr. John Gathright's passion is helping individuals discover the hope, freedom, and courage that can be found through tree climbing and nature activities.

He is an innovator dedicated to trees helping people and people helping trees.


  •  John Gathright was born in the USA and raised in Victoria, BC, Canada by a family of Scottish descent and tradition, and first came to Japan in 1985 for a brief stay that turned into a life and love for Japan and her people. 
  • A graduate of Nanzan University, he later earned his doctorate from Nagoya University, and was the first to publish scientific papers on the benefits of purpose-specific tree climbing programs. 
  • Gathright has pioneered organized Tree Climbing in Japan and established the first official school for Tree Climbing (and certification) in Japan; and was also a key figure in the establishment of the following official arborist organizations in Japan:
  • He also established a "Treehab" program to allow people of all abilities to climb the world's largest trees.
  • Gathright is an author of nine books, and works as a media commentator while teaching at Chubu University.
  • He currently resides in the mountains of Seto, Japan with wife and two sons
  • Gathright is affectionately known as “John-san” (Mr. John) in Japan.

Current Positions & Affiliations

Awards & Recognition

  • Good Design Award
  • Good Design Award Safety
  • Tsubaki Award (Contributing to bettering the Chubu area of Japan)

"We are surrounded by what we tap into! Be it joy or sadness, we are the masters of where we grow our roots."

Dr. John Gathright,
Tree-Hab and Tree Assisted Therapy Pioneer
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