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Sunday, 15 May 2011

Oceans of green

Before I came to Japan, I believed that the whole country looked like one giant metropolis (let's blame the movies of robots making cars that we watched in elementary school).  

So, I was surprised to see green field after green field out the bullet train as we (my wife, then fiancee, and I) headed to her parent's home.

In fact 75% of Japan is forested, which is way more than Germany (33%), Canada & NZ (30%).  

However, Japan wasn't always this way.  In his book, Jared Diamond tells how in 1650 a visitor to Japan might have thought 'that Japanese society was on the verge of...catastrophic deforestation'.  

What happened in the years from 1603 to 1867, that Japan transitioned into the world's most forested country?

   Japanese practicality of mind, love of harmony, and affinity to nature.

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