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The One-Straw Revolution

4.36  ·  Rating Details ·  2,892 Ratings  ·  286 Reviews
Fukuoka demonstrates how the way we look at farming influences the way we look at health, the school, nature, nutrition, spiritual health and life itself. He joins the healing of the land to the process of purifying the human spirit and proposes a way of life and a way of farming in which such healing can take place.
Paperback, 14th Impression, 181 pages
Published 2006 by Other India Press (first published 1975)
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I legally downloaded the book in PDF form from

This book made me realize that something else is possible.

The author writes that he is a farmer in Japan who gets rice yields that meet or eclipse the most highly productive regions in Japan, yet he:
- uses no artificial fertilizer
- does not plow
- does not sow seed but rather tosses it on the ground and forgets it
- does not weed
- does no insect control
- works far fewer hours than those who use the above

His descriptions of
Jun 26, 2009 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
So if you crossed Yoda with Joel Salatin and made him a laboratory scientist with a Japanese rice-grain-vegetables-citrus farm, you'd get a rough and awkward parody of Fukuoka Sensei.

Really, to capture this guy's wit and humility and flashing intelligence, you really need to read the book. Possibly over and over. Outside would be best. In Japan-- perfect.

So, if I may debase his great ideas with my little summary, the idea of the book is that People Mess Up Nature. Even good farming practices, li
Feb 06, 2013 Siddhartha rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Slow food enthusiasts, Organic farmers and buyers, Eco conscious consumers
Every once in a while, we chance upon a book that we finish it in one sitting, and wonder why we did not find it earlier. Every once in a while, we chance upon a book that makes us think "Exactly how does any one else not think like this?". A book that introduces a new paradigm.. a new dimension to our world view. The new paradigm may or may not be one with which we are comfortable.

This outstanding book by Masanobu Fukuoka is one such. And the new paradigm it introduced to me is both comfortable
Nguyên ngộ ngộ
Mar 27, 2015 Nguyên ngộ ngộ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: laws
Cuộc cách mạng một cọng rơm.
Cuốn sách của một người nông dân, viết về quá trinh "tự nhiên hóa" trong việc làm ruộng, làm vườn của mình.
Một cọng rơm đã dẫn dắt tới cuộc cách mạng 4 KHÔNG: (rất sốc)
- không cày xới đất
- Không dùng phân bón hóa học
- Không làm cỏ bằng việc cày xới hay dùng thuốc diệt cỏ
- Không phụ thuộc vào hóa chất
Với một người có triết lý sống hòa vào thiên nhiên, ông tâm niệm rằng đất đai vốn đầy màu mỡ rồi, việc phun hóa chất, thuốc trừ sâu vô tình giết chết rất nhiều vi sinh tr
It's hard to rate a book like this. It's a book that I appreciate, but not one that I completely subscribe to. I understand and admire Fukuoka's philosophy and work, that without a doubt.

Fukuoka practices natural farming, which means being cooperative with nature instead of trying to pretend that we humans know more and can do better. He tries to create a system that nature's mechanism does its best. No more pesticide, herbicide, not even pruning, weeding, etc. He simply finds (and some scientif
Rosie Nguyễn
Nov 05, 2015 Rosie Nguyễn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rất nhiều điều hay có thể học từ quyển này:

- Con người làm cho đất đai tự nhiên yếu đi, làm môi trường ô nhiễm đi. Sau đó lại tìm những cách thức để giải quyết hậu quả. Nếu ban đầu cứ để tự nhiên làm việc của nó thì sẽ không phải nhọc công. Tự nhiên là hoàn hảo.

- Chúng ta phải trả giá quá nhiều cho sự ham muốn vô độ của con người: muốn có thực phẩm khác mùa, muốn trái cây phải to đẹp bóng loáng, muốn ăn nhiều nhiều thịt và những thực phẩm chế biến khác.

- Thực phẩm tự nhiên chính ra phải có giá

"_The One-Straw Revolution_ is one of the founding documents of the alternative food movement, and indispensable to anyone hoping to understand the future of food and agriculture."—Michael Pollan

"Only the ignorant could write off Fukuoka, who died two years ago at the age of 95, as a deluded or nostalgic dreamer...Fukuoka developed ideas that went against the conventional grain....Long before the American Michael Pollan, he was making the connections between intensive agriculture, unhea

Damian Satterthwaite-Phillips
Jul 01, 2008 Damian Satterthwaite-Phillips rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People who love the earth and/or simplicity
Recommended to Damian by: Charles Chemin
This is really like a 4-star book combined with a 2-star one. This book starts out fabulously, all about simpler existence and simple farming. Life without fucking everything up, basically, and it's very inspiring. But then the author gets increasingly preachy, and goes on a Zen-and-the-Art-of-Motorcycle-Maintenance-type patting himself on the back... (though actually much less obnoxiously). Ultimately I tend to largely agree with Fukuoka's life philosophy, but he needs to tone it down a bit. I ...more
Robert Albrecht
Apr 15, 2013 Robert Albrecht rated it liked it
I appreciate the mission of the book, bringing people back to a place of harmony where food is not just something we consume to survive, but something that is entirely bound up in our enjoyment of life. I also appreciate his criticism of the "discriminating mind" of science, unable to allow the individual to simply experience and requiring categorization for all things.

However, his arguments fall flat left and right throughout this easy read. At one moment he will be professing the subjectivity
Oct 25, 2014 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
We make things too complicated. We're not as smart as we think we are. The earth pays for our arrogance. Eat well. Simple, whole foods. Don't work too much or you won't have time to write a haiku.

Starting from the thesis that life has no meaning, Mr. Fukuoka explains how this realization led him to his "do-nothing" farming method. His views of the Westernization of agriculture in Post WWII Japan lead to musings on how the Japanese have become removed not only from their food source, but also the
Apr 26, 2016 Thảo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Lan man quá, nhiều chỗ lặp ý, cố đọc cho xong. Chắc tại cũng không tán thành hoàn toàn quan điểm của ông này nữa.
Minh Giang
Aug 09, 2015 Minh Giang rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Thật khó tìm từ ngữ để nói về Masanobu Fukuoka và cuốn sách của ông: Cuộc cách mạng một-cọng-rơm (The One-Straw Revolution).

Được đào tạo bài bản và vốn là một nhà khoa học tham gia các nghiên cứu về sản xuất lương thực của chính phủ Nhật Bản trong giai đoạn chiến tranh, Fukuoka nhận ra sự hạn chế của khoa học và sự vô nghĩa trong tham vọng chinh phục, thay đổi thiên nhiên của con người để ích kỉ phục vụ cho mục đích của mình. Một lần tình cờ đi ngang qua một ruộng lúa thử nghiệm bị bỏ hoang gần
Letters Journal
Oct 22, 2010 Letters Journal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book about rice, winter grain, and fruit tree farming in Japan and a meditation on the limits of human knowledge and language. Or, it is more accurate to say that it is a story about the limits of human knowledge and language, told through the lens of rice, winter grain, and fruit tree farming in Japan.

I have never grown rice or winter grains, and I probably never will. Yet, this book was absolutely captivating and exciting. Fukuoka’s approach to farming and to life is to seek non-acti
Jul 18, 2013 Justin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: environment
This is the first book that I have ever started rereading immediately upon completion to see what I had missed the first time. After the second reading it easily burst into my all time top 10 favorite books list.

I am a firm believer that understanding and obeying nature are essential steps towards fulfillment on both individual and social levels, and this book gives expression to that belief better than any I have ever read. Mr. Fukuoka's essential question that took him 30 years to answer is "
Huong Pham
Jun 18, 2016 Huong Pham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thật muốn làm người nông dân làm "cuộc cách mạng một cọng rơm"! Tự cung, tự cấp. Sống cuộc sống "xanh". Hòa mình vào tự nhiên. Cảm nhận hạnh phúc giản đơn, thưởng thức hương vị tự nhiên!

Vì sự ham muốn vô độ của con người nên dù người ta thấy rõ lợi ích của nông nghiệp tự nhiên nhưng vẫn dùng "óc phân biệt" của mình lao vào nông nghiệp khoa học. Biết rõ là hại nhưng vẫn cứ lao vào vì ảo tưởng có được nhiều hơn để rồi khi mất đi rồi vẫn ôm ảo tưởng đó lấn sâu hơn vào thế giới vật chất, vùng vẫy k
Denis Farley
Jan 08, 2013 Denis Farley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So far, a birthday gift, heard a lot about it and looking forward.

Up to page 110 now, a little past half way at 180 pages throughout. Having become interested in Permaculture (I suppose that is a proper name now), principles after hearing Bill Mollison speak around '94, and noticing Mr. Fukuoka's name among the literature and references within the discipline over the years, it is an unqualified pleasure to take in this translation from the Japanese, his life, ideas and practices. There is much
Aug 15, 2012 jeremy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translation, nature
the one-straw revolution is a pragmatic, philosophical exposition on "do-nothing" farming, an agricultural method that eschews nearly all modern technological and chemical enhancements in favor of a more holistic and balanced approach. masanobu fukuoka was a japanese farmer and often-ridiculed practitioner of this "do-nothing" style of farming (which, despite its name, actually requires considerable hard work- just far less than most modern agricultural processes). fukuoka's method included four ...more
Mina Villalobos
Jul 13, 2014 Mina Villalobos rated it really liked it
Definitely a very interesting and thought provoking read, I found myself feeling both surprised and saddened that this was written almost 40 years ago and we're still dealing with the same kind of problems, only made worse. This is a philosophy book more than it is a gardening book, but it is because of the philosophy and the way of life it promotes that you could ever think of make the type of cultivation it proposes happen. Perhaps the measures that we would need to take to change our way of l ...more
Hoàng Dung
Jul 19, 2016 Hoàng Dung rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Đọc xong muốn làm nông, thực phẩm sạch hoặc mô hình trồng rau củ tại nhà..
Apr 28, 2016 Deborah rated it it was amazing
Splendid outline of natural farming from a Japanese perspective with generalizable tips for the world. The book's motto is ' Eat, play, sleep.'

Our meddling intellect
Misshapes the beauteous forms of things --
We murder to dissect.

William Blake:
He who binds to himself a joy
Doth the winged life destroy,
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sunrise.

Fukuoka: When it is understood that one loses joy and happiness in the effort to possess them, the essence of natural farmi
Sep 20, 2015 Vaidya rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
There's something basic about this book; you realise that some way into it - Fukuoka doesn't say anything new at all. Most of what he talks about is common sense. It's just a sad fact that we've moved so far away from that. If all these grains that we now farm have grown over the years and been part of us for so many millennia, why do we suddenly need to use so many fertilisers? Of course, the argument is one of plenty, to feed the teeming billions. But that still does not seem to answer his que ...more
Ramona Gherghe
Aug 25, 2015 Ramona Gherghe rated it it was amazing
Shelves: engleza, read-2015
"I hope, as the days go by, that I will be able to experience a day as a year."
"When I go to the fields or the orchard I say to myself: make no promises, forget about yesterday, do not think about tomorrow, put sincere effort into each day's work and leave no footprints here on earth."
"Nature can never be unederstood or improved upon human effort."
This is a book that is a lot about food, food chains and agriculture, but more about how we live on the earth and the nature of knowledge. It owes much to Buddhism, here is the moment of Masanobu Fukuoka's initial enlightenment:
One night as I wandered, I collapsed in exhaustion on a hill overlooking the harbor, finally dozing against the trunk of a large tree. I lay there, neither asleep nor awake, until dawn. I can still remember that it was the morning of the 15th of May. In a daze I watched t
May 04, 2016 puppy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfic-eco
A quiet manifesto for those that want to live in harmony with nature. Fukuoka practices his own kind of permaculture, a kind so barely removed from nature that I hesitate to even call it permaculture. This book spans the practical (how many pounds of rice should you sow per acre?) to the spiritual (what is humanity's relationship to the earth?). The especially esoteric (and at times contradictory) parts were concentrated in the last section of the book, if you're just here for the plant talk.

Dec 26, 2014 Mike rated it liked it
Shelves: farming
I get Masanobu Fukuoka's farming philosophy/practice. It's beautiful. And it's quite clear in hindsight that his work helped ignite the good food movement throughout the world. So huzzah to him!

Fukuoka's book, though, left me wanting. I couldn't get over the constant references to the concept of "nature" or "natural" made throughout. In agriculture, "natural" as a label confounds me. No agricultural products are produced naturally. That would be silly. The whole idea of agriculture is to create
Malia Walter
Jul 14, 2014 Malia Walter rated it liked it
I truly enjoyed the fist half to two thirds of this book. A sound foundation, both historical and philosophical, was laid for Fukuoka's "do nothing" gardening methods. He explained his own life so that the reader would understand where he was coming from and established his credentials to make his theories believable, all in a format that felt like a series of essays, rather than a book. My purpose in reading the book was to grasp another facet or different viewpoint for my understanding of perm ...more
Venkataraman Ramachandran
May 05, 2016 Venkataraman Ramachandran rated it it was amazing
This book is dangerous. People have left plush jobs and plunged into farming after reading this book. Arid lands in the drought-ridden state of Andhra Pradesh were transformed, thanks to this sage from Japan. Reading this book can lead you to question the entire citadel of modern science, and take you on an inquiry into your own self-journey.
The One-Straw Revolution creates plenty of food for thought!

The book seems to me to be way ahead of its time. It was originally written in the late 1970s, but it sounds like it could have been written today. Organic farming is fairly mainstream now, but it wasn't at the time Fukuoka wrote this book. It's amazing to think about the strength of mind it must have taken for Fukuoka to rethink farming from the ground up.

The ideas he shares about the role of science and the limits of human knowledge
Morris Graham
Apr 08, 2014 Morris Graham rated it it was amazing
Fukuoka San has a very unorthodox approach to farming. He obviously is not getting rich in goods, but he appears rich in spirit. He prefers to work with nature instead of trying to conquer nature. This is a must read for anyone who wants to try organic or "natural" farming. Great read and a classic.
Robert Ditterich
Dec 03, 2014 Robert Ditterich rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
I bought and first read this book back in 1981, and like many idealistic books of the era this one still inspires me, but it also represents a horrible feeling; that I've been on the 'losing team' for decades, because industrial food production and rampant consumerism are much more of an issue now than they were then.

A beautiful, practical and philosophical read, and one of the key books in my library.
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NYRB Classics: The One-Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming, by Masanobu Fukuoka 2 10 Oct 30, 2013 12:12AM  
Feed the World 2 38 Mar 13, 2013 01:14AM  
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Masanobu Fukuoka was born in 1914 in a small farming village on the island of Shikoku in Southern Japan. He was educated in microbiology and worked as a soil scientist specializing in plant pathology, but at the age of twenty-five he began to have doubts about the "wonders of modern agriculture science."

While recovering from a severe attack of pneumonia, Fukuoka experienced a moment of satori or p
More about Masanobu Fukuoka...

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“I do not particularly like the word 'work.' Human beings are the only animals who have to work, and I think that is the most ridiculous thing in the world. Other animals make their livings by living, but people work like crazy, thinking that they have to in order to stay alive. The bigger the job, the greater the challenge, the more wonderful they think it is. It would be good to give up that way of thinking and live an easy, comfortable life with plenty of free time. I think that the way animals live in the tropics, stepping outside in the morning and evening to see if there is something to eat, and taking a long nap in the afternoon, must be a wonderful life. For human beings, a life of such simplicity would be possible if one worked to produce directly his daily necessities. In such a life, work is not work as people generally think of it, but simply doing what needs to be done.” 103 likes
“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.” 72 likes
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