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Japan's Secret Garden

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  • Stephen 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
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 3, 2001
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      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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    • Douglas Barnes
      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
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 5, 2006
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        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 fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Stephen Canner <s_canner@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > 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
        >
        >
        > __________________________________________________
        > Do You Yahoo!?
        > Get personalized email addresses from Yahoo! Mail
        > http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/
        >
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