Fukuoka in India--The Rest of the (Unfinished) Story
The chronicle of the Fukuoka list's response to Fukuoka's 2002 visit to India continues:
Archive #882, August 27: Jamie suggests that any member of the list planning to attend the presentation in India might ask Fukuoka about the future of his published works. Will the English translations be republished and how will they be preserved for posterity? Will Fukuoka's latest book (available only in Japan), "Traveling with Seedballs" be translated into English?
#887: Kristi will attend Fukuoka's session in India and offers to speak with Fukuoka on "whatever is agreed upon....Just let me know what you want him to hear."
#888: Burt Levy suggest that we might ask Fukuoka if he would like to start his own
#892--August 28: Jamie says it would be better for the group to set up a website and give Fukuoka control of its contents; perhaps he could electronically publish his
older works as well as current writings. "We have more than a month to put something
together, so...ideas anyone?
#893--August 28: Jamie encourages Kristi on her planned trip to hear and meet with
Fukuoka in India.
#899--August 30: I ask if our representative(s) should to go India bearing gifts for Fukuoka, and if so, what kind of gifts.
#901--Robert Waldrop suggests that our gift to Fukuoka in India should be "seeds"
(very succinct answer).
#927--September 2: I venture that Fukuoka might also like a copy of Emilia Hazelip's video, "The Synergistic Garden."
#930: Jamie agrees that the video would make a good gift.
#958--September 6: Somehow I find out that registration for Fukuoka's presentation is closed and report that to the group.
#967--September 8: Jamie addresses a letter to V. Shiva, the event sponsor, asking her to bring up the question of what will happen to Fukuoka's writings--who will own the copywrite and what will be the disposition of the English translations. He says that
the Fukuoka group will be sending "a member" to the conference.
#974--September 9: Kristi disagrees with the contents of Jamie's letter and believes it is presumptious of group members to try to tell Fukuoka what to do with his books. She feels that the letter ought to have been put up for general adoption by the group before it was sent to Shiva. Kristi states that she does "not wish to represent
this group" at the event.
#995--Sept 10: Kristi again says that she does not want to represent our list in India, though she will be attending the event. She wants only to see what she can learn from Fukuoka "and bring it home."
#1055--Sept 17: Sameer (who has already said in #911 and #912 that he attending Fukuoka's presentation in India; he lives very near the site) asks how many others on the list will also be attending.
Archive #1074, September 18, 2002: Leland will be sending seed from Synergy Seeds (in Oregon) to Fukuoka care of Navdanya (a contact in India) in the
"near future." He wants to make a special present of Cryptomeria cedar tree seed, which Fukuoka mentions in "The Road Back to Nature."
#1077: I suggest that Leland get the seed from Ashvini Gautam in India, to avoid trouble with customs.
#1078: I recommend other seeds that might appeal to Fukuoka, such as Tepary Beans, Monkeytail Cowpeas, Purple Plantain, and Bunching Onions.
#1084: Marieke won't be able to make to India for the conference.
#1088: Emilia cautions against mailing seeds to India; instead, she says, they should be hand delivered by our representative.
September 21: Leland has heard from Indian seed merchants Navdanya and Dija Vidyapeth.
#1111--September 22: Leland asks if it might be too late to get the seeds to Fukuoka.
It is not clear exactly who is going to give them to him.
#1123--September 23: Leland has heard from Ashvini Gautam (www.treesandseeds.com) in India. Gautam has the Cryptomeria cedar tree seeds.
For the rest of September and October 2002 there is, I believe, little or no mention of Fukuoka in India. He participated in the event from Oct 1 to 14, giving at least one formal lecture (the one Allan is trying to find a tape of?) and several workshops that included how to make seedballs.
#1743--January 8, 2003: Kristi mentions breifly, in passing, that "When I was India, Fukuoka urged me to go St. Louis and Sumo Wrestle with Monsanto, and give them a copy of the open letter we wrote as a class."
So now we know that Fukuoka, in addition to giving the "Greatest Mistakes of Mankind" speech and discoursing on the art of seedball (clayball) making, also had a session on writing letters to Monsanto and other GM companies. He used the striking metaphor of "Sumo wrestling" with Big Agriculture.
#1740--January 8, 2003: I respond by saying "You [Kristi] are the first person to utter even one word on what happened during the session at Shiva's school in India this October with Fukuoka." I add "Can you tell us more...?"
Then, a year or so later--
#4071--2004: Kristi mentions in passing that Fukuoka had a simple approach at the Shiva event to making seedballs; she is suprised that on other occassions and in certain writings he has described a very complicated microbial infusion approach to making seedballs.
And, as the Disney cartoons used to say, "That's all folks." Did Fukuoka get the Fukoka list seed? Did the Fukuoka list have a representative (other than Kristi who quite legitimately declined to represent the group) there? What exactly did Fukuoka say in his speech and group sessions. The Trip to India vanished like a rainbow in the sky and "mum's the word" on what happened there--after all the energy and time that members of the group expended in looking forward to it.
If any transcription of Fukuoka's Oct. 1-14 presentation in India exists, I, like Allan, would jump at the chance to have a copy.
Always in the spirit of sustainable farming,
River Ridge/New Orleans, LA
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Thanks for your efforts in this, Robert.
Did you know that Howard Shapiro, one of the founders of Seeds of
Change, apprenticed with Fukuoka? Shapiro published a book a few
years back called GARDENING for the FUTURE. He shares what he learned
from Fukuoka there.
Yes, a simple transcription of the lecture w.b. fine with me. hearing
from Kristi w.b.wonderful, as well.