This morning Our World 2.0 posted an outstanding new article entitled, “Japan should look to satoyama and satoumi for inspiration“.
It is exciting and gratifying to see the concepts of satoyama and satoumi being highlighted for their potential to provide a sustainable, resilient, long-term basis for a rich and dynamic culture and thriving relationship with the natural world – not only for Japan’s rebuilding strategy but also for the world.
Japan is uniquely positioned to act as a “proof of concept” for other developed countries in finding ways to remember and draw into the present long forgotten ways of living in harmony with nature – and in the process reconnecting with those tangible and intangible qualities of interconnectedness that provide true meaning to our lives and nourish our parched spirits. Continue reading
Japan’s still-unfolding disaster offers important lessons for us all – on many levels – with inspiring stories continuing to emerge of personal courage and generosity and collective cooperation and resilience. One powerful and practical example of the importance of cultivating what might be referred to as “satoyama spirit” was highlighted today in a New York Times article, “Tight Web Saves Cut-Off Japanese Villages“: Continue reading
At this time of nearly unspeakable calamity in Japan, words emanating from within the country are precious. Today, a colleague alerted me to the following, A letter from Sendai, published today in Ode Magazine. It is written by a woman I don’t know, Anne Thomas – a gaijin living in Japan – and it eloquently and movingly captures a profound moment – a confluence of local and global, resilience and acceptance, sharing and generosity, healing and hope – when personal concerns are transcended and our intrinsic oneness is recognized and appreciated, even cherished and celebrated, through a recovery of the simplicity on the other side of complexity. I hope you are as inspired by this letter as I was. Continue reading
Filmed in 2004 by NHK, Satoyama: Japan’s Secret Watergarden is a gorgeously filmed sixty minute documentary, narrated by David Attenborough. Broadcast a few years later on BBC, the full film is available to view here on Google.
[UPDATE: A four-apart HD version is now available on YouTube. The first part is available here. The remaining parts appear on the right column. SORRY NO LONGER AVAILABLE DUE TO COPYRIGHT ISSUES]
[UPDATE – Aug 21, 2011: The complete film now seems impossible to find on the internet. I’d purchase the DVD if I could find it, but that, too, appears unavailable. If anyone knows a source, please post a comment. In the meantime, while the first of six parts remains off-limits, the subsequent five parts remain available, for now. Parts two-six are available here.]
[UPDATE – March 2012: Here is the complete film in HD, recently posted, not broken into parts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1XNxc3CwSM%5D
This film portrays the essence of the satoyama landscape’s seamless fabric of interdependence and cyclical relationship between human and environment. Having heard about it for years, but never wanting to use peer-to-peer networks to view it, I was very pleased to finally find it available, albeit with somewhat compromised resolution.