Reverence for Nature Publications / index / Japanese Documentary

Natural Farming

(20k) Presented by: ToriyamaToshiko, Group Gendai Inc.
Producers: Koizumi Shukichi, Toriyama Toshiko
Director: Koizumi Shukichi
Photography: Hotta Yasuhiro
Sound: Nakayama Takamasa
Editing: Yamazaki Yukie
Song Composed and Performanced by: Hayashi Masahiko
1997 / Color / 16mm / 153 min

In continuing the family farm, Kawaguchi Yoshikazu farmed, as any farmer would, by using pesticides and fertilizers. But in 1978, when use of these began compromising his health, Mr. Kawaguchi set his sights on practicing "Natural Farming," free of all agricultural chemicals. Since then he has struggled to develop natural farming methods. In this film, Koizumi Shukichi, long active in producing documentaries on pesticides, and his production company, Group Gendai, worked with instructor Toriyama Toshiko whom they had met during the filming of the earlier Class ("Jugyo") series. Over the space of one year, they all closely followed Mr. Kawaguchi's methodology. It is May 1995, in one part of the Nara Basin. The rice paddies of Mr. Kawaguchi's natural farming practice teem with weeds to a degree normally never seen. His work begins here with the cutting and clearing of these weeds, the start of his nineteenth crop of rice. Mr. Kawaguchi describes his methodology of "Natural Farming" in very concrete terms: how during the first two years his harvest from 1.7 acres of cropland was naught, and how he gave himself over to the challenge of a completely natural farming that depends in full on the providence of nature. While the camera shoots in minute detail the maturation of the fields through the seasons, it also captures images of the insects and other plants and animals that live within the fields. All this is testimony to the one, natural world that Mr. Kawaguchi's fields have brought into being.


Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee