Just over a year after his death, FUKUOKA Masanobu was the main topic of conversation at our Thanksgiving meal table today. Fukuoka was an amazing man who I had the chance to meet at his farm on Shikoku Island back in 1985, when I was living in Japan. His contributions to agriculture, permaculture and profound philosophies undergirding farming, nature and life are innumerable.Here is a video of Fukuoka and helpers making seed balls for permaculture planting.
You can read a short obituary on ‘Permaculture Reflections’ and read below of brother Stephen’s account of how his life was changed.
By Stephen Bartlett
It would not be an
exaggeration to say that Masanobu Fukuoka’s work, thought and farm had
a life-changing impact on myself and my family. In 1987, February, my
wife Ada and I traveled from China where we were teaching to Japan to
visit my brother, on one condition: that he arrange for us to visit Fukuoka. We had read the One Straw Revolution with fascination. To make a long story short,
we spent about a week in Iyo, mostly alone in the thatched hut, except
for a young Norwegian vegan woman helping Fukuoka
with his pine tree disease research.
Fukuoka’s son, in exchange for food, which we cooked over bamboo in the
hut hearth. We didn’t see the Old Man until Sunday when we were
resting in the spongy soiled orchard surrounding the
hut. Fukuoka came and had a fit, belaboring us verbally, declaring
that we were not serious, not sufficiently committed yet to the task of
defending the earth. He showed us the roots of diseased pine
seedlings, saying the earth was being unbalanced, that
life itself could be destroyed by the ambitions and stupidity of
humanity. We were psychologically shocked by his verbal attack, as he
stormed off, saying we should come to his own hut once we had finished
eating our breakfast, rice again, that was cooking
over the smokey fire.