The forest lover of the sea

La forêt amante de la mer d'Hatakeyama Shigeatsu - Translation and afterword by Augustin Berque - Editions Wildproject - French edition, September 2019 - Drawings: Aizawa Kazuo - Photo: Francine Adam

How do you rebuild a wounded territory?
In northern Japan, Kesennuma Bay is in crisis. Faced with the red tide, the oyster farmer Hatakeyama Shigeatsu seeks to save a way of life and a bay where his family has lived for generations.
During a trip to France, he understands that a rich afforestation of deciduous trees enriches the marine waters.

Thus was born the reforestation movement "The Forest Lovers of the Sea" - Mori wa Umi no Koibito. This popular and citizen movement will give birth to an international NGO that will establish a new relationship of the inhabitants to the Kesennuma Bay, and give it new life.

In a poetic tale full of grace, Hatakeyama recounts this fight and victory. This autobiographical work is a bible of ecology in Japan, a true documentary on the story of a young man born into a family of simple fishermen on the coast of Sanriku. He becomes a self-employed oyster farmer, and opens his eyes to the reality of environmental destruction threatening nature's marine and forest resources. He grasps the exact problem at hand, sets out to solve it, surrounds himself with an ever-widening circle of companions and has the audacity and charisma to become its leader.

His style, of great literary quality, has something epic about it. And that's not all. The book is firmly composed, with its ample setting out (a set of experiments), its breathtaking unfolding (the putting in order of problems), and finally its final preste (the practice); and it is also a book of active science, with its multiple prescriptions applicable to various regions.

HATAKEYAMA Shigeatsu, born in 1943 in Shanghai, is an oyster farmer, delegate of the Society of Oyster Forest Suitors (Kaki no mori wo shitau kai), and professor of social relations at the University of Kyoto, Education Centre for Field Studies.

An ecological fable, a true story, a bestseller...

The Loving Forest of the Sea was originally published by a small publisher, but its astonishing content makes it a bestseller, which has been reprinted many times since its release in 1994.

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"Hatakeyama has spent more than twenty years developing the forest environment that keeps the Okawa River alive and the oysters healthy.
United Nations, award ceremony " Forest Hero ", 2012

"Childhood holds a great place in this livre : that of Hatakeyama, in the bay, but also that of today's children, through all the educational activities it carries out.
Augustin Berque, geographer and orientalist (Cosmos 2018 Prize)

" It's Japan's " monsieur huître ". He's the expert. He knows how to share his passion for his Japanese terroir and he carries a message to which he has dedicated his life.
Alain Ducasse, chef

Book Launch at the House of Culture of Japan

On the occasion of the publication of this work, the geographer and orientalist Augustin Berque will make a presentation at the Maison de la culture du Japon in Paris, Paris on Friday, October 11, 2019 at 6:30 pm. In French - Free admission on reservation.

This conference, in partnership with the Wildproject publishing house, will begin with the screening of the film The Fisherman and the Forest (NHK, 49 min) by director Tomohiko Yokoyama: The tsunami of March 11, 2011 was a disaster for humanity. More than 25,000 people living in the affected region in Northeast Japan have died or are missing. The marine fauna, too, was devastated. Oyster farmer Shigeatsu Hatakeyama, known for saying "forests love the sea", decided to resume his oyster farming activities after the disaster. As the sea interacts with the mountains to regenerate itself, nourished by Man, this comforting documentary is a reminder of the power of symbiosis and natural resilience.
Place: 101 bis Quai Branly, 75015 Paris

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