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In a western worldview, relationships are often defined as a dichotomy, and so it seems to be with the relationship between forest and field. The traditional Japanese relationship with nature, similar to those of many indigenous cultures around the world, contrasts with the western attitude toward nature that emphasizes opposite interests. Farmers want to cut the forest to create more fields for instance, as they often need more land to stay economically competitive. Treating both forest and field as one system that is going to provide our healthy future food supply may be a better starting point for rural management.

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For some reading on the status of our trees:

The Man Who Planted Trees: Lost Groves, Champion Trees, and an Urgent Plan to Save the Planet, by Jim Robbins