and other essays
The Macrobiotic Guidebook for Living was originally published in 1947 in Japan, where it was very successful. It was translated into English by Herman Aihara and published in 1967 by the Ohsawa Foundation, Los Angeles, CA. - Revised English edition - 1985 - G.O.M.F.
Chapter titles include: Love, Marriage, Family, Expanding the Family, Baby Care, Childhood, The Age of Activity, Old Age, Sickness, The Secret Medicine, Truth is Simple, No Incurable Disease. Other Essays: - When Will You Be Cured?, Curing the Man, The Education of the Will, The Unique State Called Happiness, The Way of Life, Your Biography Before Birth, The Seven Stages of Judgment, The Order of the Universe and the Unique Principle.
I have suffered misgivings in calling this volume The Macrobiotic Guidebook for Living since I have no qualifications as a teacher of morals, much less the ambition to be one. My biggest desire is to give of my years of experience in dealing with a fundamental relationship--the one that exists between food and life.
As you read you will surely conclude, and with good reason, that I have been a gourmand all my life! I have been so big an eater that I have surprised and frightened myself more than once.
I thus know the dangers inherent in eating through personal experience. What could be a more open confession of my struggles with the problem of over-eating than my activity as a teacher of diet?
My big appetite would surely have brought me to an early, miserable death had I not been engaged in an unending search for the secret of food. It was most fortunate that near the end, when I was almost dead, I found macrobiotics. (1.)
Here is the clue to successful existence. The ingenuity of science is juvenile as compared to the quietly irresistible force with which nature animates the entire universe.
To live and be happy, man depends on food;
To live naturally, he must eat natural foods;
If he lives naturally, a man can be healthy and happy.
Since man is a natural product of a natural environment, he must live as close to nature as possible; to be healthy and happy he must eat natural foods. This is the secret of macrobiotics.
But what are natural foods? They are the ones that are ancestors have used for a thousand years. And they differ from one country and climate to the next. This is why there are so many nationalities, religions, societies, and customs.
The Japanese diet was originally divided into two separate categories--principle foods and secondary ones. Evidence of such early awareness of the importance of food and value of some kinds of nourishment over others is not found in the culture of any other country.
The Japanese language as well reflects a similar depth of understanding. Gohan, the word for eating, refers to the taking of principle (not secondary) food. It symbolizes all eating but specifically pertains to whole rice. In the broadest sense, it means grain.
In traditional Japan, rice--principle food--was called the God of toyo-uke. (Toyo-uke means "receive plenty.") It was understood that a man became one with the Infinite by eating rice. It was the source of life, the materialization of God. It was accorded the highest respect and enshrined as a national symbol.
One might say that macrobiotics is the teaching that is rooted in the concept of principle food. It is a reaffirmation and reapplication of the ancient wisdom and has produced the miraculous results that lead to an inevitable conclusion: we must reevaluate, relearn, and apply the concept of principle food in our daily life's. We must know that food is important and know the reasons why it is vital to our present and future well-being. Otherwise, we are unqualified to be healthy, happy, and peaceful.
This is the secret of macrobiotics. (1.)
1. Macrobiotic Guidebook For Living - George Ohsawa - Revised English edition - 1985
©Copyright George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation - G.O.M.F