Natural Farming Philosophy and Fukuoka's New Book
- Thank you Souscayrous for the French and Indian sources for Fukuoka's books that have been translated into English.
I am lucky enough to have one copy of Fukuoka's new book in the original Japanese (I don't know of any translation yet). It is called "One Straw Revolution: Traveling with Seedballs" and is visually the most impressive of any of his books. I got it through the good offices of a Japanese friend and have since learned that it is all but impossible to obtain another copy, even in Japan. Perhaps it was a limited edition printing. For those of you with Japanese contacts, let me give you the ISBN number and wish you the best:
My Japanese is rudimentary, but I am plodding my way through. Perhaps when I feel I have adequately construed the text, I can give a little summary report on this site. The book is 271 pages, approximately 8 1/4 " by 11 2/3", filled with well over 100 pages of mostly color photographs showing Fukuoka's world travels in Africa, Asia, Greece, America. He took time out to pose with ordinary villagers, potentates and churchmen (for example a Greek Orthodox priest and a saffron-robed Buddhist monk). He is in the fields alongside camels, Greek temples, Greek greens like purslane, in deserts, tropical regions, outside thatched huts, on mesas, deltas, hills, mountains, meadows, prairies, you name it--he is there, sending us a grand scrapbook of postcard memories. The book is interspersed with black-on-white Zen drawings and a striking front-face portrait of Fukuoka himself on page 28 that I would like to have framed.
If anyone succeeds in getting permission to put Fukuoka's texts on the web, she or he is welcome to make an electronic image of my copy of "One Straw Revolution: Traveling with Seedballs," but it will be in Japanese.
Nature, of course, has always been a touchstone for religious feeling. Patterns that appear in the garden, farm, and woods resonate with the deepest meaning for humankind. Ceres the goddess of grain, Pomona the goddess of fruit cannot live in the asphalt jungle unless some openings are made in the asphalt for their bounty to spring through. Humankind viewing only its own works quickly becomes narcissistic and vainglorious (remember the words Shelley gave Ozymandis, "Look upon my works . . . and despair"). "We need to witness our own limits transgressed" said Thoreau; we need a conduit to something we did not create, something beyond our own often petty concerns. Nature and Nature's God (or perhaps the other way around) is that something.
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