About Masanobu Fukuoka

Masanobu Fukuoka was born on February 2nd, 1913 in Minami-yamasaki Village, Iyo District, Ehime Prefecture (present-day Iyo City). After graduating from the Applied Biology Department of present-day Gifu University, he worked in the Plant Inspection Division of the Yokohama Customs Bureau and devoted himself to research. However, as a result of being brought to the brink of death by acute pneumonia, he experienced an epiphany that “there is nothing in this world.” He returned to his home prefecture of Ehime and began to shape the Masanobu Fukuoka method of natural farming, which is characterized by “no tilling, no use of compost, and no weeding,” while embracing nature through agriculture. In addition, he received global praise for his method of preventing desertification by placing plant seeds in mud and creating seed balls during his many travels to various places around the world. He was an agricultural philosopher who exerted himself to preaching the state of “nothing” through many publications, song-verses, and drawings.

Masanobu Fukuoka’s Natural Farming Based on Thought and Philosophy

It is not that you do nothing. This is farming by subtraction.

Looking at things from a modern point of view, “dialogues with nature” can be extremely difficult at times to plants and animals, which are “existences that are able to live” through the cycle of nature.

This means that humans distance themselves from the true state of nature by “adding various things” to nature. “Reducing things that have no purpose or are unnecessary as much as possible, or in other words, subtracting, rather than using human intellect to try to add and supplant” leads to a deeper, essential stage. This signifies minimizing artificial tasks and building a harmonious relationship with nature. If we think carefully, there may be “things that are truly necessary and things that are not” in our daily lives, although the latter are not wasteful by any means.

“Perhaps that task of pruning does not actually need to be done”
“Maybe that task of fruit thinning is also not necessary”
Think creatively about how tasks can be subtracted and lean as close as possible to nature through fewer actions.

This is the “farming by subtraction” that is being carried out at Masanobu Fukuoka Natural Farm.

Because humans can never truly and completely understand nature

Excess actions must not be taken

However, this is not the same as noninterference

Nature is not lenient to lazy farmers

From the “One Straw Revolution”

A spokesperson for nature who crossed borders and dedicated
his soul and old body to the world

The substantiation, verification, and establishment of Masanobu Fukuoka’s natural farming was a massive endeavor carried out on a global scale and a path to interpret the providence of the universe by working with nature, which is gentle at times and rough at others.

  • Decayed land in Somalia
  • Rice farming in the plains of Sacramento, USA
  • Desertification spreading in Africa
  • Rice and barley growing with clovers in Italy

The many “dialogues with nature” that he held while straining his old body to travel the world struck a chord with many listeners. Masanobu’s thoughts were not just agricultural concepts, but also an agricultural philosophy that significantly impacted how people lived their lives from that point on.

His acts of greening deserts using seed balls deserve special mention. Deterioration of the natural environment is disrupting the balance of the ecosystem and is a major threat to humankind, as it leads to starvation and poverty. These issues can indeed be called the consequences of human neglect. The effort of Masanobu to face these issues by making seed balls for a wide variety of plants, dispersing them across the land, and allowing nature to get its breath back is lauded as one of his greatest achievements.

The reason that he did not just use a single type of plant is because he was concerned about the modern, human-centric, and egotistical view, in which the balance of nature is regarded lightly.

In reality, the ecosystem is formed of organic relationships between a wide variety of plants and animals. Therefore, an overemphasis on balance would conflict with the providence of nature.

As a result of these accomplishments, Rajiv Gandhi, the chancellor of Visva-Bharati University in India and the former president, stated that “natural farming is the farming method of the truth” and awarded Masanobu with a degree of the highest honors.
During the same year, he was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service in the Philippines, which is often considered Asia’s Nobel Prize. He later became the first recipient of the Earth Council Award, which is presented to somebody who contributes to the conservation of the global environment.

Even after his 90th birthday, he continued to energetically exert himself in his cross-border activities. This can be considered a mission for life that goes beyond the boundaries of human races.

There is a difference between knowing and understanding

Masanobu Fukuoka

Brief Biography oh Masanobu Fukuoka (Current names are used for places)

1913
Born in Ohira, Iyo City, Ehime Prefecture
1933
Graduated from the Department of Agriculture at Gifu Prefectural Agricultural College (present-day Gifu University)
1934
Began work at the Plant Inspection Division of the Yokohama Customs Bureau
1937
Returned home temporarily and began natural farming
1939
Began work at the Kochi Prefecture Agricultural Experimentation Station
1947
Returned home and dedicated his life to natural farming
1975
Published “Shizen Noho: Wara Ippon no Kakumei” (Shinjusha)
1978
Published “One Straw Revolution” (Rodale Press)
1979
After visiting the USA, began desert greening using seed balls around the world
1986
Trademarked the Fukuoka Mochi 3 Gou, Fukuoka 2 Gou, and Fukuoka 1 Gou varieties of rice
1988
Received a degree of the highest honors from Rajiv Gandhi, the chancellor of Visva-Bharati University in India and the former president.During the same year, he was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service in the Philippines, which is often considered Asia’s Nobel Prize Published “Hyakusho Yawa” (Self-published)
1997
Became the first recipient of the Earth Council Award, which is presented to somebody who contributes to the conservation of the global environment.
2005
His final lecture was at the Nature’s Wisdom Expo (Aichi Prefecture)
2008
Passed away in Iyo City, Ehime Prefecture

Masanobu Fukuoka Museum: Musoan

Exhibit of the relics and works of Masanobu Fukuoka, the prophet of natural farming

2-7 Ohira, Iyo City, Ehime Prefecture

Business Hours: Every Saturday

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