Japan Travel News

Lone Wolf by Prairie Stuart-Wolff

Posted on June 5, 2014 within News

Lone Wolf A farmer like no other

Sasaki almost quit farming before he’d actually begun. As a young man he worked side by side with his grandfather, growing award-winning produce. Though he liked the work, he was disillusioned with the return. “Among other things, we were growing goya (bitter gourd). They were splendid goya but we received only 5 yen each. Those very same goya would sell in stores for 150 yen,” he says.

Witnessing an agricultural system that rewarded corporate middle men in suits many times over the backbreaking labor of farmers sent Sasaki into a dark well. “I saw the worst side of people in those days,” he says. “I got depressed. I didn’t work, just stayed home, drank, and watched TV.” This went on for six months. “Finally, one day my grandfather brought me a book by Matsushita Konosuke. He said, ‘If you read this and still aren’t motivated, then get out.’”

Eleven years later Sasaki might be the most motivated farmer you’ll meet.

By Prairie Stuart-Wolff

This is the fourth in a continuing series of featured articles authored by Prairie Stuart-Wolff from her online publication Cultivated Days.