How's this for a slow answer? You only had to wait 5 years to get it...
On the whole, this is not how farming is done in Japan. It used to be
the case normally that paddies were havens for dojou (little ells
considered a delicacy), frogs and other life. But today, chemical
farming is the norm. This is odd considering that the few people that
do natural farming are renouned for produce that tastes much better
than that from other farms, and thus make much more money for less
work done. Go figure.
But, the farmers in Japan are well known for being against anything
that is out of the ordinary. My wife suggested that I set up a
permaculture garden on her parents' farm in Ibaraki Prefecture (which
I would not have been able to maintain as I lived in Tokyo), but I
doubt the idea would have gone over very well with them.
--- In email@example.com
, Stephen Canner <s_canner@...>
> I just finished watching the "Japan's Secret Garden"
> episode of the PBS series Nova a few minutes ago,
> which is basically an exploration of the natural
> ecosystem that exists within Japan's rice fields. The
> way that the film portrayed Japanese agriculture you
> would think that pesticides aren't used. The narrator
> pointed out at several points that the Japanese have a
> closer relationship with nature than we in the west
> do, for instance in that they regard spiders as good
> fortune and thus don't kill them (which brings to mind
> a story that Fukuoka told about why he didn't kill the
> spiders that lived on his rice when, by implication,
> other farmers did). The fact that catfish, giant water
> beetles, fire bellied salamanders, water scorpions,
> carp, frogs, and dragonflies were all shown living
> healthy lives in and about the rice fields means that
> it didn't look much like a haven of DDT but more like
> an organic gardener's dream. Does anyone know if this
> is the actual state of rice farming in Japan or was
> this a filmmaker's very narrow view of one region of
> the country or a handful of farms?
> Stephen Canner
> Austin, Texas
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