Support the Million Mothers!

At the Economics of Happiness Conference in Bangalore, India. Samdhong
Rinpoche, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Manish Jain, Carlo Sibilia, and many others all in support of the Million Mothers.

Join the petition! http://bit.ly/1lXItp8

posted by tsuji at 18:15 | TrackBack(0) | diary




I did not meet Le Petit Prince, but his friend, desert fox.

posted by tsuji at 02:47 | TrackBack(0) | diary


with David and Bau


with David Suzuki and Bau (Hwang Degwon) on December 20th, 2011 in Yokohama

posted by tsuji at 21:56 | TrackBack(0) | diary


Invitation to Candle Night December 2011

Invitation to Candle Night Summer/Winter Solstice
December 22, 2011
Candle Night Committee
Candle Night Summer/Winter Solstice 2011.

Turn off your lights for two hours from 8 to 10 p.m.
on the evening of December 22, 2011.

Do something special . . .
Read a book with your child by candlelight.
Enjoy a quiet dinner with a special person.

This night can mean many things for many people.
A time to save energy, to think about peace,
to think about people in distant lands who share our planet.

Pulling the plug opens the window to a new world.
Awakens us to human freedom and diversity.
It is a process of discovery about our potential.

However you spend them, for just two hours, join us.

Turning off the lights, and help us spread
a gentle wave of candlelight around the earth.

On the evening of the solstice, for two hours from 8 to 10 p.m.

Turn off the lights. Take it slow

The winter solstice is the shortest day and the longest night
in the northern hemisphere. This year, the date is December 22.
The winter solstice is regarded as an important day in many
places around the world. It is considered the day when the sun
is reborn because each day gets longer after the solstice.

Please visit our website and find more about Candle Night.

posted by tsuji at 14:25 | TrackBack(0) | diary


Bhutan in September 2


posted by tsuji at 22:48 | TrackBack(0) | diary

Bhutan in September


posted by tsuji at 22:46 | TrackBack(0) | diary

Sulak Sivaraksa and Alan Wiseman in Thailand in August


In the annual study tour with my students, we visited Sulak Sivaraksa' home in Bangkok, where I was delighted to talk not only with Ajarn Sulak who had recovered from some health problem but to run into Alan Weisman, the author of "The world Without Us" who I had just met a few days earlier to have a wonderful time together in Matsumoto, Japan.

posted by tsuji at 22:42 | TrackBack(0) | diary


Peter Berg 10/1/37--7/28/11

Our dear friend has departed.

Thanks so much for everything you gave us, Peter.


Peter Stephen Berg

October 1, 2011 -- July 28, 20111


Envisioning Sustainability Cover

On the morning of Thursday, July 28th, Planet Drum Foundation's founder, Peter Berg, breathed his last. His life-partner, Judy, and daughter, Ocean, were with him. In many ways his death was too soon and unexpected.  Now he has joined the electric pulse of the planet; he exists in the earth and sky, water and wind, and in our hearts and memories. Look for him in the glittering sparkles of sunlight, in the stars at night, and in all the beauty of Pachamama which he so loved.


Peter was a clear-seeing, passionate, visionary activist, analyzing all aspects of human species interactions and following through his ideas with action. Prior to his bioregional work, he participated in early civil rights action and theater; wrote, directed, produced, and acted in plays for the SF Mime Troupe; and formulated theory and actions with the Diggers in San Francisco, writing ecstatic prose/poetry manifestos.


Peter founded Planet Drum Foundation in 1973, and continued as its director for 38 years. The originator of the term "bioregion" and concept of "reinhabitation," Peter was a noted ecologist, author and speaker. According to Gary Snyder, Peter's work and Planet Drum's newsletter Raise the Stakes were "of immeasurable importance in defining and disseminating the ideas and possibilities of bioregionalism." Works include extraordinarily innovative revegetation and green city projects both locally and abroad, which directly manifest his vision of ecological and cultural sustainability. "Throughout his long career he stayed with living right in San Francisco and in word and deed was a proponent of a non-dualistic urban/hinterland view of bioregionalism. Peter was a unique and cranky figure," -- Gary Snyder.  


Peter's books include: Envisioning Sustainability, Discovering Your Life-Place:  A First Bioregional Workbook, A Green City Program for the San Francisco Bay Area and Beyond, Figures of Regulation: Guides for Re-Balancing Society with the Biosphere, and Reinhabiting a Separate Country: A Bioregional Anthology of Northern California. Articles and interviews with him have been published internationally, and he has done presentations and workshops at events, conferences, schools/universities, etc. worldwide.


No one will be able to replace his presence, but Planet Drum Foundation will continue. In his last months, Peter laid the groundwork to ensure that the Foundation would carry the bioregional legacy into the future. As part of this effort, Peter and his brother established the Eliot and Peter Berg Endowment Fund.


"We didn't play it for the Big Time. We didn't play it for the Small Time. We played it for the Real Time"-- Peter Berg 7/24/11

Planet Drum Foundation                                        415-285-6563
P.O. Box 31251                                                    mail@planetdrum.org
San Francisco, CA 94131                                      www.planetdrum.org

posted by tsuji at 14:28 | TrackBack(0) | diary


rice transplanting with my students


Today was one of the most important days of the year for me.

Despite all, life continues. No rice, no life!


posted by tsuji at 19:35 | TrackBack(0) | diary


Bhutan determined to go entirely organic!


I was in Bhutan earlier this month and had dialogue with VIPs including Prime Minister Jigme Tinley. To my delight they are all determined to make their country's farming organic. I visited Gasa District, the pioneer region that went organic starting as early as 2005.

Photo: an organic farm in Punakha, and conversation with the Prime Minister.

posted by tsuji at 23:15 | TrackBack(0) | diary


No Nuke Action June 11

Action June 11: No Nuclear Power

The day marks three months after the Fukushima nuclear disaster triggered by
the earthquake and tsunami. The plants are still spewing radioactive materials.
No one wants such dirty electricity harmful to human and nature.

Join us on June 11th with million-people action throughout the world and let our voice heard.

Many citizens and groups in Japan have started organizing June 11 actions
like demonstrations or parades. We need your support to spread our message
and hear from as many people on Earth as possible.

Why don’t you endorse our June 11 actions?

Endorsing groups or organizations will be publicized on our website. We
appreciate it if you decide to organize your own demonstrations, parades,
gatherings, or anything on June 11th or 12th.

Our solidarity, if you are in Japan, in Asia, in Europe, in Americas, or
anywhere in this world, will soon end this dark age of nuclear power

posted by tsuji at 11:27 | TrackBack(0) | diary


Rainbow at an Earth-day event in Nasu


posted by tsuji at 22:35 | TrackBack(0) | diary


Chernobyl and Fukushima

posted by tsuji at 14:54 | TrackBack(0) | diary


Nuked and X-rayed


Nuked and X-rayed

By Keibo Oiwa


With all the events of the few weeks following 3/11, I often had difficulty in focusing and thinking clearly.  But while a bit confused, I was hoping that going through this would make me more courageous and creative.  And now that I have come out of the tunnel, I feel much better and positive, and see things more clearly.


What Japan has experienced since 3/11 is like X rays; yes, all of us and our society were X-rayed and have now become transparent.  What do I see?  That what we need now is a bit of silence, time for mourning, prayer, and awe.  We must contemplate on the dead and realize, as Thich Nhat Hanh said in his recent message to Japan, that part of ourselves, part of the earth, has died, and the dead is and will be in us forever.


We are shocked to see in front of our own eyes our arrogance and the illusion that we can somehow control our Mother Earth.  The Earth that created the great tsunami is the same Earth that has been giving everything to nurture us.  We must re-instill the sense of awe that we might have been missing for a long time.  We must meditate so that we can rediscover a way to reconnect ourselves to our Mother.


We see clearly that we have been a part of this civilization and its violent system built upon our own greed, hatred and ignorance, or what Buddhists call the three fundamental poisons.  Instead of accusing TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) and the governments, we must realize that it is we who created this monster called TEPCO that has become powerful enough to control governments, media and other big businesses. Yes, they had a kind of dictatorship, and we were willing to support and embrace it, increasing our consumption of electricity 5 times since the 70’s.  With their massively financed “All Denka (entirely electrified homes)” campaign, they have been successfully made us believe that more and more nuclear plants are necessary to live comfortably.


The fisherman-philosopher Masato Ogata once said “Chisso is me.”  He is a survivor and witness of the Minamata environmental crisis and was referring to the powerful Chisso Corporation that caused the mercury poisoning of the ocean killing innumerable lives including humans. Yes, TEPCO is me.


One of the most important lessons we learn and relearn from the events of 3/11 and after is that our way of living was created and barely maintained only by causing  irreparable damage to the Earth, thus curtailing the possibility of a good future.  Themass media is now busy orchestrating a cheerful chorus of “recovery” and “reconstruction.”  But the question is what we are going to reconstruct?  The same kind of towns and villages that have been proven too many times in history to be so vulnerable?  The centralized massive energy system that has made our democracy hollow and has made the rural communities and remote regions enslaved by the big cities, electric power companies and central government?  Reconstruct the banks and walls to protect the 50 plus nuclear power reactors, and make the reactors themselves strong enough to beat the next challenges of earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons, floods and landslides?  Recover the once famous Japanese technology and the invincible “kamikaze spirit” that would make no more mistakes and neglects like the ones we witnessed this time?  Reinvent the once miraculously growing economy that required us to endlessly consume, to build all those nuke and other power stations, to destroy much of our once healthy ecosystems, and to sacrifice our rural communities and their beautiful landscapes?


I can already hear politicians in future elections talk loudly of those “reconstructions.”  But then we will have to remember that we can never reconstruct the world without the horrifying amount of toxic nuclear waste which will be with us for thousands of years to come.  Every step we made during the last several decades with more and more nuclear reactors was to make both the reconstruction of a healthy past and the construction of a healthy future harder and harder.  Put another way; the reconstruction of a pre-3/11 world would mean extinguishing the remaining hope for a healthy, sustainable world.  So let us say No to “reconstruction” of our previous Japan and choose from the remaining possibilities. 


I can also hear clever people repeat the same old pre-3/11 stuff, saying that without giving an alternative, the argument against nuclear power is not persuasive. To this, I must repeat what the political scientist Douglas Lummis once said; the alternative to nuclear power is no nuclear power.  Let us stop acting as if we still have a choice.  We cannot afford another disaster, and that’s how disastrous our situation is.


This is a new era that has started on the March 11th. This is the age of what the Buddhist philosopher Joanna Macy called the “Great Turning,” that has been prepared for in many parts of the world.  According to her, the Great Turning has been occurring on three simultaneous levels; environmental movements, anti-globalization and re-localization activism, and personal, spiritual awakening. Let us, too, join in the creative process with the new vision given by the 3/11.


Of course, there are not too many reasons to be optimistic. Even if we turn around and shut down all the nuclear plants today, we have to spend decades to make sure that all the reactors continue to be cooled, and many generations after us have to invent ways to deal with the enormous amount of toxic nuclear waste that is already here.  So shall we continue our pursuit of wealth and luxury without turning around?  Why not stopping later instead of now, if it’s too late anyway?


Again let us stop acting as if there is a choice.  We must turn around not later but now. And that is if we are still interested in human survival.  Let us become a “nuclear guardian” as Joanne Macy has urged us, accepting responsibility for the nuclear materials produced in our lifetimes.  Macy is not optimistic, either, but her words are deeply consoling. 


Even if the Great Turning fails to carry this planetary experiment of ecological revolution onward through linear time, it still is worth it. It is a homecoming to our true nature.”  (Joanna Macy “The Great Turning”)


Remember that the Chinese characters we use for the word “kiki (crisis)” can mean both danger and opportunity at once.  This must be a great opportunity for us to grow spiritually, while stop growing materially, learning how to slow down, scale down and simplify. The real wisdom is to know how we can downshift joyfully and thankfully. This must be the moment of truth.


Keibo Oiwa is a Professor of Anthropology at Meiji Gakuin University, the founder of environmental nonprofit the Sloth Club, and a regular contributor to Be-Pal, a Japanese outdoor magazine.

posted by tsuji at 00:20 | TrackBack(0) | diary


More loudly--Now, it is okay to say no to the nukes.


Kan-the-sloth and Edano-the-sloth mumbles, "...reconsider the nuclear power and shift to renewable energy..., etc." The real sloth urges them to talk more loudly and clearly, and encourages them by saying, "it's okay to say no to the nukes!"

In the meantime, the voices from the grey people get noisier and noisier, "The nuke is safe!" "We need more electiricity!""More development!""Economic growth!"

posted by tsuji at 00:10 | TrackBack(0) | diary


a happy slow year 2011


Wishing you a good year,
A View of the Sea of Shiranui, from Minamata, December 2010
posted by tsuji at 22:25 | TrackBack(0) | diary


with David Suzuki

posted by tsuji at 18:33 | TrackBack(0) | diary


Satish Kumar on DVD book

posted by tsuji at 11:45 | TrackBack(0) | diary


One week at Schumacher College3

posted by tsuji at 11:40 | TrackBack(0) | diary


One week at Schumacher College2

posted by tsuji at 08:27 | TrackBack(0) | diary