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Masanobu Fukuoka (1913-2008)

Masanobu Fukuoka, the Japanese farmer/philosopher from Shikoku Island, and author of The One-Straw Revolution, passed away on August 16, 2008 at the age of 95. He continued to farm and give lectures until just a few years before his death. He had been in poor health since October 2007, and in August of 2008 he asked his doctor to discontinue treatment. He passed away peacefully at his home a week later during the Obon festival. Obon, after New Years, is the most important Japanese holiday. It is when the ancestors come back to earth for three days to visit the living. It is a happy time. Villagers tend to the graves, families relax, visit and reminisce as children play together in the summer sun. On the evening of the third night the ancestors go back with a sendoff of songs and fireworks. Fukuoka-sensei died on the third day of Obon.

Masanobu Fokuoka