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Masanobu Fukuoka

This is a fairly recent video about the Natural Farming pioneer Masanobu Fukuoka (1913-2008) that was produced by one of his former students, Larry Korn, who also translated Fukuoka’s best-known book "The One Straw Revolution" into English. One of the reasons why this video is especially interesting is that it contains video material showing Fukuoka in his fields that doesn’t appear to have been widely available before.

Unfortunately, Fukuoka’s seminal treatise "The One Straw Revolution" may be difficult to grasp for many people who grew up in western culture, especially due to philosophical ideas that are rooted in the Zen Buddhist concept of "Nothingness" (mu) which are all too easily misread as being nihilistic. His other — but less well known — book, "The Natural Way of Farming", is more elaborate, far more pragmatic, and contains a good deal of background about the observations, ideas, trials and errors by which Fukuoka developed his methods. Hence, it may serve well to make both his other writings and his work more accessible to a wide audience. (I would highly recommend to read the section "Second Thoughts on Post-Season Rice Cultivation" and the one immediately before it in Chapter 4 of that book before reading this work from the beginning.)


  1. “Here in Northern California eucs have taken entire areas that were formerly native oaks and redwood forests. Euc introduction here has been an unmitigated disaster.

    Very little to nothing else grows in California euc forests.

    Comment by John Donaldson — November 6, 2010 @ 2:52 am”


    Is it wise planting eucalyptus in Japan considering the huge problems they’ve got with this tree in California?

  2. Unless I missed something in the clip, I think you are getting two Australian natives confused. Eucalyptus are not acasia’s. Many eucalyptus are highly alleopathic and a real pain in the ass even here (in my humble opinion) the acasia on the other hand are short lived nitrogen fixing pioneer trees.

  3. Thank you Thomas for presenting that video. A valuable memento of the work of a truly remarkable man, including some footage of a younger, bare foot and cross-legged Bill Mollison. A real treasure.

  4. Thank you for posting this Masanobu Fukuouka is modern day saint: a bhudda, a jesus, a loa tzu. Beyond his farming methods is a deeper notion about to live well with ourselves, each other and the planet.

    His methods of farming are, in view, brilliant. But the “one staw revolution” I feel he answers Socrates question of “How are we to live?” He takes a deep, yet simplitistic look at health, eduation, and social change.

    I feel One Straw Revolution is a must read. Like the person posting this artile wisely said it can be a difficult book to grasp particulalry if you have grown up in the west. But not all seeds sprout with with first shower of rain.


  5. That’s right, Acacia trees and shrubs are numerous in Australia but also exist in other countries. They are hardy, nitrogen fixing trees, which can be used as part of a food forest system, particularly those that have edible seeds or can be used as high quality timber. The common name for these trees in Australia is Wattles. Their flowers also smell wonderful.

  6. Bazman,

    as this book is out of print, some might want to know that they can lend out an electronic copy from this library:

    Australian library law permits providing electronic copies for books that are out of use. But to all who would like to do so: be very sure you thoroughly read the terms and conditions first.

    Steve Solomon has a number of other interesting texts, also in other sections of his library. There are some real gems, but there also is a lot of trash.

  7. A third book that I found online (unofficial channels) is this “The Road Back to Nature” (copyright 1987, translated by Frederic Metreaud, published by Japan Publications, Inc.) which talks about his travels in America and Europe but goes on to talk about numerous other things related to natural farming (I’ve only finished a fifth of it). Thanks for the video.

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