Experiencing Traditional Japanese Agriculture

On Sep. 29th, the UC faculty and students at MGU participated in a fall rice harvest at Maioka Park in Yokohama. A short walk from the university, the park is a city-owned, citizen-managed nature preserve that provides paddies and dry fields to residents who wish to grow their own food. There are stringent guidelines to ensure the use of natural growing methods, and the community shares a strong commitment to preserve the heritage of Japan's pre-mechanized agricultural legacy. The park also maintains a traditional Japanese farm that is open daily to the public free of charge. A group of Meiji Gakuin graduates annually grow rice in the park, and they invited the UC community to help with this year’s harvest. The participants had a unique opportunity to study a Japanese approach to ecologically sound agricultural methods while helping with the cutting activities. This was followed by a meal prepared from food grown by the Meigaku graduates.