Born and raised on the Japanese island of Shikoku, Masanobu Fukuoka was a farmer and philosopher celebrated for his natural farming and re-vegetation of desertified lands. He was a proponent of no-till, no-herbicide grain cultivation farming methods traditional to many indigenous cultures, from which he created a particular method of farming, commonly referred to as ‘Natural Farming’ or ‘Do-Nothing Farming’.

In his early career, Fukuoka studied plant pathology and spent several years working as a customs inspector in Yokohama. While working there, at the age of 25, he had an inspiration that changed his life. He decided to quit his job, return to his home village, and put his ideas into practice by applying them to agriculture.

Over the next 65 years he worked to develop a system of natural farming that demonstrated the insight he was given as a young man, believing that it could be of great benefit to the world.  He did not plow his fields, used no agricultural chemicals or prepared fertilizers, did not flood his rice fields as farmers have done in Asia for centuries, and yet his yields equaled or surpassed the most productive farms in Japan.

In 1975 he wrote The One-Straw Revolution, a best-selling book that described his life’s journey, his philosophy, and farming techniques. This book has been translated into more than 25 languages and has helped make Fukuoka a leader in the worldwide sustainable agriculture movement.

After The One-Straw Revolution was published in English, Fukuoka traveled to Africa, India, Southeast Asia, Europe and the United States. His interest turned to rehabilitating the deserts of the world using his natural farming techniques.

Fukuoka is also the author of The Natural Way of Farming (1985) and The Road Back to Nature (1987), scientific papers, and other publications, and was featured in television documentaries and interviews from the 1970s onwards. His influences went beyond farming to inspire individuals within the natural food and lifestyle movements. He was an outspoken advocate of the value of observing nature's principles.

In 1988 he received the Magsaysay Award, often referred to as the ‘Nobel of Asia’, for Public Service.

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