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MASANOBU FUKUOKA PDF

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The Theory and Practice of Green Philosophy. MASANOBU FUKUOKA. Preface. Natural farming is based on a nature free of human meddling and intervention. I believe that a revolution can begin from this one strand of straw. Seen at a glance, this rice straw may appear light and insignificant. Hardly anyone would. Masanobu Fukuoka is a farmer/philosopher who lives on the Island of I had not heard of permaculture at the time, but I can see now that Fukuoka's farm is a.


Masanobu Fukuoka Pdf

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The Natural Way of Farming. The Theory and Practice of. Green Philosophy. By Masanobu Fukuoka. Translated by Frederic P. Metreaud. Japan Publications, Inc . Farming Satori: Zen and the Naturalist Farmer Fukuoka Masanobu. Ron Green This paper looks at how Masanobu Fukuoka adopts Chan Buddhist philosophy in . By Panos Manikis. Sixty-five years ago, Masanobu Fukuoka, just after the end of Second World War, went back to his native village in Japan and started working.

Farmers preferred to live common lives, without knowledge or learning. There was no time for philosophizing. Nor was there any need. This does not mean that the farming village was without a philosophy.

On the contrary, it had a very important philosophy. It was none other than the philosophy of Mu, or nothingness—which teaches that all is unnecessary, that gave the farmer his enduring strength. During transplanting, singing voices rolled over the paddy fields, and the sound of drums surged through the village after the fall harvest.

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Nor was it that long ago that people used pack animals to carry goods. These scenes have changed drastically over the past twenty years or so. In the mountains, instead of the rasping of hand saws, we now hear the angry snarl of chain saws. We see mechanical plows and transplanters racing over the fields. Vegetables today are grown in vinyl houses ranged in neat rows like factories. The fields are automatically sprayed with fertilizers and pesticides.

Singing voices are no longer heard. Everyone sits instead before the TV set, listening to traditional country songs and reminiscing over the past. We have fallen from a true way of life to one that is false. People rush about in a frenzy to shorten time and widen space, and in so doing lose both.

The farmer may have thought at first that modern developments would make his job easier. Well, it freed him from the land and now he works harder than ever at other jobs, wearing away his body and mind.

The chain saw was developed because someone decided that a tree had to be cut faster. Rather than making things easier for the farmer, the mechanized transplantation of rice has sent him running off to find other work. The disappearance of the sunken hearth from farming homes has extinguished the light of ancient farming village culture. Fireside discussions have vanished, and with them, the village philosophy. The country rose rapidly from the ruins of war to become a major economic power.

As this was going on, its farming and fishing populations —the seedbed of the Japanese people—fell from fifty percent of the overall population at the end of the war to less than twenty percent today. Without the help of the dexterous, hard- working farmer, the skyscrapers, highways, and subways of the metropolises would never have materialized. Japan owes its current prosperity to the labor it appropriated from the farming population and placed at the service of urban civilization. However, the farmer draws a different interpretation.

Changes in the self-image of the farming population led to the adoption of new agricultural methods. As farming became less labor-intensive, surplus manpower poured out of the countryside into the towns and cities, bringing prosperity to the urban civilization. But far from being a blessing, this prosperity has made things harder on the farmer.

In effect, he tightened the noose about his own neck. How did this happen? The first step was the arrival of the motorized transport-tiller in the farming village, a major turning point in Japanese agriculture.

This was rapidly followed by three-wheeled vehicles and trucks. With this wave of change from labor-intensive to capital-intensive farming came the replacement of the horse-drawn plow with tillers, and later, tractors. Methods of pesticide and fertilizer application underwent major revisions, with motorized hand sprayers being abandoned in favor of helicopter spraying.

Needless to say, traditional farming with draft animals was abandoned and replaced with methods involving the heavy application of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

The rapid mechanization of agriculture lit the fires for the revival and precipitous growth of the machine industry, while the adoption of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and petroleum-based farming materials laid the foundation for development of the chemical industry. It was the desire by farmers to modernize, the sweeping reforms in methods of crop cultivation that opened up the road to a new transformation of society following the destruction of the weapons industry and the industrial infrastructure during the war.

What began as a movement to assure adequate food supplies in times of acute shortage grew into a drive to increase food production, the momentum of which carried over into the industrial world.

This is where things stood in the mids. The situation changed completely in the late sixties and early seventies. Stability of food supply had been achieved for the most part and the economy was overflowing with vigor. At last the visions of a modern industrial state were beginning to be realized. It was at about this time that politicians and businessmen started thinking of how to bring the large number of farmers and their land into the picture.

The food control system set up to ensure an adequate food supply began to be regarded as a burden on the nation. The Basic Agriculture Law was established in to define the role and direction to be taken by Japanese agriculture.

But instead of serving as a foundation for farmers, it established controls over the farmer and passed the reins of control to the financial community. The general public started thinking that agricultural land could be put to better use in industry and housing than for food production; city dwellers even began to see farmers, who were reluctant to part with their land, as selfish monopolizers of land.

Laborers and office workers joined in the effort to drive farmers off their land, and taxes as high as those on housing land were levied on farmland.

The effort by farmers to raise food production appears to have backfired against them. Somewhere along the way, the farmer lost both his land and the freedom to choose the crops he wishes to raise. Farmers have simply gone with the flow of the times. Why has the farming community fallen to such a hopeless state? The experience of Japanese farmers over the past 30 years is unprecedented, and poses very grave problems for the future.

Let us take a closer look at the fall of Japanese agriculture to determine exactly what happened. Underlying the spectacular programs for modernizing agriculture and increasing productivity, and the calls to expand the scale of farming operations, lies a thinly-disguised contempt for the farmer. While the one-acre farmer was doing all he could to work his way up to three or even five acres, the policy leaders in government were saying that ten acres just was not large enough, and were running demonstration farms of ISO acres.

Clearly, no matter how hard they tried to scale up their operations, farmers were pitted one against another in a fratricidal process of natural selection. To the economists who supported the doctrine of international division of labor, agrarianism and the insistence by farmers that their mission was to produce food were evidence of the obstinate, mule-headed farming temperament which they despised.

As for the trading companies, their basic formula for prosperity was to encourage ever more domestic and foreign food trade. Consumers are easily won over by arguments that they have the right to buy cheap, tasty rice. Such demands make things harder on the farmer, and the consumer actually ends up eating bad-tasting rice.

The only one who wins out is the merchant.

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Nor is it the farmer who determines production costs. The price of rice nowadays is the price calculated to support the manufacturers of agricultural equipment; it is the price needed for the production of new farm implements; it is the price at which fuel can be bought. When I visited the United States in the summer of , the price of rice on the U.

Since the price of gasoline at the time was about one dollar per gallon, I was at a loss to understand the reasoning behind reports then in circulation that rice could easily be imported into Japan at one-quarter to one-third the local price.

In natural farming, the cost of producing rice is almost the same as the cost of wheat production. Moreover, both can be produced more cheaply this way than buying imported grain. The mechanism by which the market price of rice is set has nothing whatsoever to do with farmers.

The retail price of farm produce is said to be too high in Japan, but this is because the costs of distribution are too high.

Distribution costs in Japan are five times those in the United States and twice as high as in West Germany. The federal assistance given per farmer is twice as high in the United States as in Japan, and three times as high in France.

Japanese farmers are treated with indifference. I am even tempted to call these false rumors created by the gimmickry of an insanely complex society. At one time, six farming households supported one official. Today, there is reportedly one agriculture or forestry official for every full-time farmer. One wonders then if the agricultural deficits in Japan are really the fault of the farmer. Statistics tell us that the average American farmer feeds one hundred people and the average Japanese farmer only ten, but Japanese farmers actually have a higher productivity than American farmers.

It just appears the other way around because Americans farm under much better conditions than Japanese farmers. Farmers today in Japan are in love with money. They no longer have any time or affection for nature or their crops. All they have time for anymore is to blindly follow the figures spit out by distribution industry computers and the plans of agricultural administrators.

They grow produce without choosing the time or place, without giving a thought to the suitability of the land or crop. The way administrators see it, grain produced abroad and grain grown locally both have the same value. They make no distinction over whether a crop is a short-term or long-term crop. Without giving the slightest thought to the concerns of the farmer, the official instructs the farmer to grow vegetables today, fruits tomorrow, and to forget about rice. However, crop production within the natural ecosystem is no simple matter that can be resolved in an administrative bulletin.

It is no wonder then that measures planned from on high are always thwarted and delayed.

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When the farmer forgets the land to which he owes his existence and becomes concerned only with his own self-interest, when the consumer is no longer able to distinguish between food as the staff of life and food as merely nutrition, when the administrator looks down his nose at farmers and the industrialist scoffs at nature, then the land will answer with its death. Nature is not so kind as to forewarn a humanity so foolish as this.

I was astounded by what I saw. I had thought that desertification and the disappearance of native peoples were stories from ancient history—in the Middle East and Africa.

But I learned that the very same thing has happened repeatedly in the U.

Because meat is the food staple in America, agriculture is dominated by livestock farming. Grazing has destroyed the ecology of natural grasses, devastating the land.

I watched this happening and could hardly believe my eyes. This accounts for the development of a modern agriculture totally reliant on petroleum energy. The low productivity of the land drives farmers to large-scale operations. Large operations require mechanization with machinery of increasing size. Agriculture that ignores the forces of nature and relies solely on the human intellect and human effort is unprofitable.

It was inevitable that these crops, produced as they are with the help of petroleum, would be transformed into a strategic commodity for securing cheap oil.

To get an idea of just how fragile commercial agriculture is with its large-scale, subcontractor-type monoculture farming, just consider that U. I realized, however, that these faults of modern farming were rooted in the basic illusions of Western philosophy that support the foundations of scientific agriculture.

I saw that mistaken ideology had led man astray in how he lived his life and secured his essentials of food, clothing, and shelter. I noted that confusion over food had bred confusion over farming, which had destroyed nature.

And I understood also that the destruction of nature had enfeebled man and thrown the world into disarray.

Is There a Future for Natural Farming? I do not wish merely to expose and attack the current state of modern agriculture, but to point out the errors of Western thought and call for observance of the Eastern philosophy of Mu. While recalling the self-sufficient farming practices and natural diets of the past, my desire has been to establish a natural way of farming for the future and explore the potential for its spread and adoption by others.

Yet I suppose that whether natural farming becomes the method of farming for the future depends both on a general acceptance of the thinking on which it is based and on a reversal in the existing value system.

Although I will not expound here on this philosophy of Mu and its system of values, I would like to take a brief look at the agriculture of the future from the perspective of Mu. Forty years ago, I predicted that the age of centrifugal expansion fed by the growing material desires of man, the era of rampant modern science, would soon pass and be replaced by a period of contraction and convergence as man sought to improve his spiritual life.

I take it that I was wrong. Even organic farming, which has come into its own with the pollution problem, only serves as a temporary stopgap, a brief respite. This is essentially a rehashing of the animal-based traditional farming of the past. Being part and parcel of scientific agriculture to begin with, it will be swallowed whole and assimilated by scientific agriculture. I had hoped that the self-sufficient agriculture of the past and farming methods that try to tap into the natural ecosystem would help turn Japanese thinking around and reorient it toward natural farming—the true way of agriculture, but the current situation is almost behind hope.

To take an example, suppose that a scientist wants to understand nature. He may begin by studying a leaf, but as his investigation progresses down to the level of molecules, atoms, and elementary particles, he loses sight of the original leaf.

Natural Way Of Farming - Masanobu Fukuoka Green Philosophy

Nuclear fission and fusion research is among the most advanced and dynamic fields of inquiry today, and with the development of genetic engineering, man has acquired the ability to alter life as he pleases. And what is man likely to attempt in the field of agriculture? He probably intends to begin with the creation of curious plants by interspecific genetic recombination.

It should be easy to create gigantic varieties of rice. Trees will be crossed with bamboo, and eggplants will be grown on cucumber vines. It will even become possible to ripen tomatoes on trees. By transferring genes from leguminous plants to tomato or rice, scientists will produce rhizobium-bearing tomatoes capable of fixing nitrogen from the air. Once tomatoes and rice are developed that do not require nitrogen fertilizer, farmers will no doubt jump at the chance to grow these.

Genetic engineering will most certainly be applied to insects as well.

If hybrid bee- flies are created, or butterfly-dragonflies, we will no longer be able to tell whether these are beneficial insects or pests. Yet, just as the queen ant produces nothing but worker ants, man will try to create any insect or animal that is of benefit to him. Eventually, things may progress to the point where hybrids of foxes and raccoons will be created for zoos, and we may see vegetable-like or mechanical humans created as workers.

The most ridiculous products, if developed initially for the sake of medicine, let us say, will receive the plaudits of the world and win wide acceptance. A good example is the recent news, received as a godsend, that the mass production of insulin has been achieved through genetic recombination using E. The Illusions of Science and the Farmer Today we have test-tube babies, and scientists are already envisioning a day, not that far off, when they will breed superior humans in culture media by transferring in the genes of gifted physicists and mathematicians.

Perhaps they dream of creating new races of men. There will no longer be any need to go through the ordeal of giving birth, or raising children for that matter, as children will be raised in complete incubators equipped with dispensers supplying artificial protein foods and vitamins. No longer will food consist of unappetizing meal protein synthesized from petro- chemicals.

Instead, we will enjoy delicious, inexpensive meat-like products created by crossing the genes of the soybean with the genes of the cow or pig. Such dreams of science are so close to being achieved, I can see them as if they were already a reality. When that day does come, what will be the role of farmers then? Working the open fields under the sun may become a thing of the past. The farmer may find himself assisting the scientist as a laborer in a tightly sealed factory—perhaps even one for mass-producing strong, intelligent, artificial humans to eliminate the trouble of using or dealing with ordinary human beings.

To the scientist, this sort of tragedy appears as but a temporary inconvenience, a necessary sacrifice. Firm and unshaking in his conviction that, while still imperfect, someday human knowledge will be complete, that knowledge is of value as long as it is not put to the wrong use, he will probably continue to rise eagerly to the challenge of empty possibilities.

But these dreams of scientists are just mirages, nothing more than wild dancing in the hand of the Lord Buddha. Even if scientists change the living and nonliving as they please and create new life, the fruits and creations of human knowledge can never exceed the limits of the human intellect. In the eyes of nature, actions that arise from human knowledge are all futile.

All is arbitrary delusion created by the false reasoning of man in a world of relativity. Man has learned and achieved nothing. He is destroying nature under the illusion that he controls it. Casting and befouling himself as a plaything, he is bringing the earth to the abyss of annihilation. It's a book that I appreciate, but not one that I completely subscribe to.

Masanobu Fukuoka

I understand and admire Fukuoka's philosophy and work, that without a doubt. Fukuoka practices natural farming, which means being cooperative with nature instead of trying to pretend that we humans know more and can do better. He tries to create a system that nature's mechanism does its best. No more pesticide, herbicide, not even pruning, weeding, etc. He simply finds and some scientif It's hard to rate a book like this.

He simply finds and some scientific research agrees that nature can do better. Let the weeds grow, let the seeds sprout on their own, let the suitable ecosystem do its work and things turn out to be magnificent. I love the idea, and the evidence. After all, the earth has been alive for millions of years and the mechanism of living things must be the most efficient, the most powerful one among all.

It is the one that survives. But what does it mean to be "natural. The difference is that instead of engineering artificial mechanisms and environments, the author only tries to co-operate with the nature. It's a minimal type of intervention that involves rearranging, reordering the most successful pieces of nature and let it be. I wouldn't call it completely "natural.

My trouble with Fukuoka's ideas is his imagination of "the primitive," of the "old" or "original" way of farming. Does that beautiful, romantic way of living and farming ever exist?

Does it exist only for a few elites and a few enlightened ones? The world is full of problems. It has always been and it will always be. Fukuoka wants to rid the world of those problems.

He proposes that we go "back" to the nature if that past ever exists. He dreams of an earth pure and harmonious. I'm skeptical. In some ways, I even enjoy this sad world. I enjoy observing this crazy, greedy, foolish, but also kind, noble world. I enjoy it even if it comes to an end. Because it's alright.

Human is a part of nature too. The way we are exploiting, destroying it is very much a natural process.When sea water is heated by the sun, it evaporates as water vapor, rises in the sky to form clouds, turns to rain. Therefore, there are various causes, with names such as fundamental cause, primary cause, immediate cause, remote cause, and proximate cause, and they are continuously spinning round. I have been a farmer. This year the agricultural department of Kinki University has set up a natural farming project team in which students of several different departments will come here to conduct investigations.

No matter how closely one looks, there is no limit to the complexity and detail with which nature interacts to effect constant, organic change. Yet I would say his "natural farming" is very much a science itself. So I simply stood by and watched the changes of nature. As the soil gradually improves from the decomposing straw and green manure, and as the farmer becomes more familiar with the direct seeding non-cultivation method, the amount of seed can be reduced.

We see mechanical plows and transplanters racing over the fields.