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Shimoda, Shizuoka, JP
Climate zone:
Warm Temperate

Delphine Drory Erika Acosta James R. Diegel Jean-Noé Pachabézian Jillian Robles Khai  Galias Michael Poole Nick Sikorski PJ Chmiel Saul Lans Silvère Maréchal Simon Carrier Talia Minor
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Project Type

Rural, Residential, Commercial, Demonstration, Educational, Financial Economic, Political

Project Summary

Forest gardening, foraging, natural farming, deep ecology, re-wilding, anarchy.

Project Description

In the mountains of the Izu peninsula, Japan, Shikigami is a forest garden growing to blend seamlessly with the surrounding forest.

In a small clearing deep in the mountains, farmed for generations in the traditional Japanese manner but recently abandoned, we are working with the encroaching forest to establish a garden with a high concentration of edible, medicinal, fibre, fuel, basketry and construction plants - amongst many, many others.

Beyond our "managed" forest garden we daily interact with the forests surrounding us. Some of these are timber plantations, mostly abandoned, others the remnants of charcoal makers coppiced woodlands and regenerating "native" forest. With fluid boundaries we, along with all the other wild animals (and plants), move freely across the territory. Our food, medicines, fuel and craft materials are supplied in equal measure by the "farmed" and "unfarmed" lands we inhabit. A complete blurring of such distinctions is at the core of the Shikigami philosophy.

Our approach is inspired in equal measure by the natural farming philosophy of Masanobu Fukuoka, the tropical "home gardens" of South-East Asia (and the more recent temperate-climate "forest garden" variations), and the foraging in unmanaged or minimally managed environments of hunter-gatherers and hunter-gatherer-planters. All thrown in the cauldron and stirred up with a generous helping of anarchist thinking.

The focus in these first years, along with the establishment of the forest garden, is developing a lifestyle with minimal energy requirements or other "needs" that cannot be easily met in our immediate environment.  We are engaged in research and development of forest based crafts and other activities for generating incomes and/or tradeable goods.

We are committed to promoting inhabited forests as a necesssary way forward in Japan and are developing educational programs to this end. Currently we are running Introduction to Permaculture and Returning to the Way of Nature workshops in Tokyo and in the near future we plan to begin hosting workshops on forest gardening, developing forest livlihoods and deep ecology here at Shikigami.


August Events at Shikigami

Two events at Shikigami in August

Posted almost 12 years ago (0 comments)

Shikigami open day and workshop

Shikigami site tour and lazy gardener's workshop

Posted about 12 years ago (0 comments)

Tokyo workshops

In April Shikigami presents two workshops in Tokyo

Posted about 12 years ago (0 comments)

Shikigami presentation, Tokyo

A presentation about the Shikigami forest garden project on the Izu peninsula, Japan

Posted over 12 years ago (0 comments)
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