Final Straw Director Patrick Lydon with natural farmer Yoshikazu Kawaguchi, translator Kaori Tsuji, and farming student Maki Sobajima at Kawaguchi's home in Nara, Japan (Photo: Final Straw)

Interviews – Yoshikazu Kawaguchi’s Natural Farm

In our second visit to Kawaguchi’s home farm — the first was in May of this year — we enjoyed tea and a more informal chat than on our previous visit.

Lately, Kawaguchi-san has spent his mornings working on finishing a book, and although he has written and published many well-read books, he says this is the first time that a major publisher in Japan has courted him.

One of the gardens at Yoshikazu Kawaguchi's farm in Sakurai, Japan (photo: P.M. Lydon)
One of the natural gardens at Yoshikazu Kawaguchi’s farm in Sakurai, Japan (photo: P.M. Lydon)

In the developed world in general, and in Japan especially, there is a surge of interest recently in this kind of farming, this lifestyle, and perhaps most of all, this simple understanding that Kawaguchi and other natural agriculturists hold of how we might live life without excess, with respect for our natural surroundings, and ultimately with great happiness. The feeling of standing in these fields is really not explainable… but hopefully it is something that can be closely reproduced in the upcoming documentary film.

I’ll leave you with a few photos from Kawaguchi’s garden and rice field, natural land so full of life that in some areas it’s like a little jungle more than a farm!

4 thoughts on “Interviews – Yoshikazu Kawaguchi’s Natural Farm”

  1. Giovanni Galanti

    how do i get an english copy of Kawaguchi’s “standing in the miraculous garden”?

    loved this film, btw.

  2. Unfortunately, as far as we know there are no English translations of Kawaguchi’s books, only a few interpretations and quotes that were directly translated by writers or researchers, such as here:

    It’s one of the projects we’re looking to work on with Kawaguchi and others in Japan, but so far for one reason or another, it just hasn’t materialized yet!

  3. Hi. My name is Lindsee. I am from Australia. I am in Japan atm working in Nozawa Onsen until April 20th. Afterwards i am looking to spend some time on a permaculture farm in Japan somewhere and i think Yoshikazu Kawaguchi’s place and practices sound amazing and so inspiring. I completed a PDC last year from Pete the Permie in Melbourne who was a very close friend of the late Bill Mollison and an amazing teacher. I have come to Japan to learn more about its traditional culture first hand and to put the PDC theory i did into practice so i can learn even more! I come from a large farm in Australia and gardening has been in our family for many generations. I have a deep love and respect for nature, the earth and preserving all of its beauty and abundance. I would love to gain more permaculture and natural farming experience. I couldnt find anywhere on the net to directly contact Kawaguchi so if you could please help me i would be so grateful.

    Kind Regards

  4. Glad to hear it, Lindsee. There are many places to experience and learn more about this way of farming in Japan…

    For natural farming learning experiences in Japan, the Akame Natural Farm school (started by Kawaguchi, but now run by his former students) is a donation based organization which is generally open to the public once a month. This is a good place for long term learning. Although Kawaguchi himself is not directly involved with Akame recently, he does hold informal farm days at his personal farm in Makimuku every few months.

    For farm information in Japan, here are the most useful resources. It’s all in Japanese:
    – The Akame natural farm school website:
    – A site recently created by a team of people working with Kawaguchi san, meant for natural farmers to learn and share information with each other:
    – A list of natural farms in Japan that welcome visitors and/or have teaching components

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