A more than 6 JMA (Japanese Meteorological Agency Seismic Intensity Scale) earthquake hit northern Nagano Prefecture just one day after the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011. This paper employs the case of the Village of Sakae to: 1) illustrate the damage and recovery from the earthquake; 2) identify challenges to promote participation of residents in the planning for reconstruction; and 3) point out efforts generated for, but also challenges encountered in, the mobilization of local resources for reconstruction and the establishment of internal and external stakeholder networks. Based on original interviews, statistics and collected documents, this investigation establishes that not only did retirement from farming after the earthquake occur because of this natural disaster but it was also due to the deterioration of living conditions, the advanced age of the local population, and the decline of agricultural commodities' prices. As the reconstruction plan in the Village of Sakae centers on a policy of “participation by all," including small and family owned farms, it significantly departs from the policy of “creative reconstruction" or “shock doctrine." However a number of challenges to residents' participation remain and need to be addressed.