Satoyama (里山) is a Japanese term applied to the border zone or area between mountain foothills and arable flat land. Literally sato (里) means arable and livable land or home land and yama (山) means hill or mountain. Satoyama have been developed through centuries of small scale agricultural and forestry use.
The concept of satoyama has several definitions. The first definition is the management of forests through local agricultural communities. During the Edo era young and fallen leaves were gathered from community forests to use as fertilizer in wet rice paddy fields. Villagers also used wood for construction cooking and heating. More recently satoyama has been defined not only as mixed community forests but also as entire landscapes that are used for agriculture. According to this definition satoyama contains a mosaic of mixed forests rice paddy fields dry rice fields grasslands streams ponds and reservoirs for irrigation. Farmers use the grasslands to feed horses and cattle. Streams ponds and reservoirs play an important role in adjusting water levels of paddy fields and farming fish as a food source.
imagine a realm where the seasons rhythms war where centuries of agriculture and fishing have reshaped the land yet where people and nature remain in harmony sangolo tanaka lives in just such a paradise at 83 is a guardian of one of Japan's secret water.
Gardens over a thousand years towns and villages have developed a unique system to make Springs and water part of their homes from inside their houses the stream pours into Japan's largest freshwater lake near the ancient capital of Kyoto.
This is a habitat so precious the Japanese have a special word subtle yoga villages their mountains give way to claims they are exceptional environments essential to both the people who maintain them and to the wildlife that now share.
late February at Lake Biwa an area five times the size of Paris in Sierra has four distinct seasons Reed's desiccated by winter winds feel the heat of spring they are all that remain the rest have gone to make roofs or screens frames consume both pest and weed the ash will prove a powerful fertilizer.
Description creates the very conditions in which a wide range of species will eventually flourish by April new shoots sprout the fire and smoke have provoked new growth supreme put sonic smear code melt water cascades from the mountains swelling the lake to the brim so part earth soaks into water sudden sounds split custom of the day a.
Chain of mail car dance after a female some are knocked over the man's arm but she's bigger still heavy with eggs she releases her eggs up to 200 possible and males race for fairness for the rest of the year these carp inhabit the chill depths awake the sport they will seek warm chatters Springs rising energy is released over 200 cars crowd here today.
the conditions created by the firing of the marsh offer an ideal site for breeding only a few days a year when so many fish from here sangolo the fishermen won't miss his chance his methods his 20 year old boat his bamboo pole or our tried and tested it takes years to really master the art of.
Punting the river courses with fresh Mountain torrents but here are their natural springs when up from the bottom the marsh is a maze but to Zangaro it's as familiar as his gun he has some fifty craps set in various corners the cop our lake B was spring gift sangolo only fishes from March to June when the show's retreat to the lake he.
Uses a simple snare of traditional materials there's not even any bait – he just sinks a trap for the fish to swim into where he places it depends on the weather and where he thinks the fish will swim that day intuition Springs from long experience his Hall includes other fish as well as.
Car as they all flock to spawn in the shallows this crap is full of carp called cushions with a single trap he may net for the Bluefish to take home.
The ingredients rice and fish other key items of the Japanese diet sangil those homes lies about two kilometres inland from the lakeshore water from bores under the village is piped into the houses after it's been used the water passes into a man-made stream what could be a barren canal teeth with hidden life.
As spring gives way to early summer aquatic plants reach to the Sun this one takes its name from the creeper it resembles the plum flower and water bottle – excavating a breeding site the even bottom supplies a perfect hidey hole as always the best locations are highly.
Sought after here comes another male he'd like to move in and he's prepared to fight for it both do all they can to look threatening opening their mouths and erecting their dorsal fins to look bigger it's a victory for the sitting tenant there's another goby behind him.
she's hanging upside down and she's laying eggs the victory over the den gave her a place to spawn and safety the old simple life of sattell llamar communities is attracting some young japanese back from the cities.
It's June 4 months after the hungry flames licked the air reads that rose from the ashes now reach overhead the Martian landscape takes on its summer look the dense growth is almost like a jungle a world filled with tiny lives each single Reed stone is a microcosm tiny organisms called pseudo plankton live on their.
Surface forests of tentacles we jumped the scenes organic material earlier in spring young carp hatched in the flooded fields they stay there for about three months the reed beds are their nurseries where they have plenty to eat and are concealed from predatory.
Birds an infant fish who it's a sudden end it's been grabbed the attacker is the larva of Japan's largest dragon fire this aggressive ambusher hides and saddle will revel only its head protrudes as it lies in wait for its prey it's correct name is the golden ring dragonfly but to the Japanese and to Salgado in at a dog form it's the.
King of gag Matthias chicks accompany a parent coot now is the best time to find food and adult calls in warning the cause the coots number-one enemy a weasel egg thief and baby tooth snatcher and how to escape waterpower have to guard against foxes and snakes true for safety Greaves make floating fortresses anchored to firmly rooted plants an.
Adult bird is particularly alert when the eggs are hatching each crib has its own territory and each nests at the same place every air here comes sang-gon the birds know him already this is his regular route he spends two hours checking all the traps he set yesterday his work done.
Sang Goro returns to the landing stage you should see the ones that got away turning muddy banks into reedbeds has paid dividends he has nearly 50 fishin or of eight different types we sang Goro won't eat the smallest fish he puts them aside he will share his good fortune this grey heron knows what will happen next.
Sam Gordo finishes cleaning out his book and another pair of eyes watches his every move each fishing season this kite pays Zangaro a visit whence Angora leaves the grey heron doesn't wait any longer it's happy to clear up siguro left the titli's for the birds it's his way of sharing nature's riches with those.
Around him and they are only too pleased to take part the kite will take the fish back to Holloway chicks where the village houses crowd most closely together above a garden alone pine talents on a branch is a large nest there are two chicks they're developing steadily under the.
Water eyes of the villages sang Gordo's gift is a token of the villages close ties with Wow for sang Gordo fishing is not just a job viewership well Juliana seven Anatole Norma Jean had done on the traps captured relatively small numbers of fish but this means stocks aren't.
Depleted or the other and achieved Rivera Serrano Jadhav Aragon or Eleonora Castle righto as Laura and always note Unilever and enough I told the girls almost nah my immediate alum unit taking from nature without exhausting its supply is practiced throughout subtle yama reads will make blinds indispensable in the bear of the.
Traveling summer the stems are left for a year to season then each is straightened local materials find a use left Lee it's five days since the gobies first laid eggs in the village channel the mail is still around he's very protective keeping predators away and taking great.
Care of his offspring golden eyes peer out of the egg capsules they're ready to break out the anxious father's answers keeping them oxygenated the newly hatched young are barely the size imagine tiny as they are they're about to embark on a journey they will ride the current the two kilometres to make be one there I will.
Seem at the same time another new life is about to undergo a striking change the lava of a golden winged dragons lie in the dark hidden from predators it quietly begins its metamorphosis the lava is now a forgiving site in ten.
Days it will be sexually mature and ready to trigger the next generation big moment with wild creatures so close children experience nature directly fish birds are an everyday part of their lives three months have elapsed at San Goro's house Sangha knows wife chicano washes the fish salted in spring next.
She will bury them in rice Sangha nose job is the back-breaking bit first they lay out the fish evenly then they cover them they build up several layers the rice starch feeds microorganisms that cause fermentation most honorable gigging well do with nature's blessing lafoon Assoc will be good again this year.
After the cleanup the channel runs smooth and clear small-fry are encouraged to return the young gobies are now the size of a fingernail ten times as big as they were the hatchlings from the village have spent two months feeding on lake beavers platens they press on upstream no obstacle deters dn't not even vertical walls.
In land the channel narrows and the head lies something only to team to greet them it's a Japanese keelback it feeds on fish which is unusual for terrestrial snakes.
a quick round keelback catches that AC goby those who escaped continue their travels upstream they must avoid herons and carnivorous fish true the little go-biz must find somewhere safe from ambushes they bunk into a row.
Of fence posts inside our carp which won't attack them it's the channel that carries away the households used water Santorum school offers a younger view sanctuary even if you will have to do the dishes the villagers enjoy the healing a days.
Of late summer with their natural neighbors it's a drowsy afternoon the moist air drains everyone's energy the temperature.
Of the spring water in the house pools remains a constant pleasure Oh.
I've lost the fiery side burns itself autumn brings welcome fresh breezes it's time to gather rice the staple food of the Japanese as the rice dries in the autumn Sun the smell of hay spreads across the fields with the harvest in the time has come to.
Give thanks Sango depicts two live fish from the house pool they will survive but tomorrow is the day the god of the rice paddy goes back to the mountains he won't depart without being given offerings rice cakes satay white radishes and the fresh fish Sanga rule believes that the god of his.
Rice paddy will eat before leaving the God will return next spring when rice is sown again each element in nature has its own God every tree rock and stream eight million gods of nature in all prayer and ritual express zangara's gratitude he is almost totally self-sufficient thanks to the gifts of nature.
It's December winters harshness looms bitter winds start to gust from the lake sturdy green gives way to bristol gold nine months have passed since the scorched earth sent out shoots now the reeds saw above the slender stems will make screens and thatch the farmers cut carefully they don't.
Snap or bend the long stalks practice has made them perfect they heat the bundles into a tintype shape called around stands will be left to dry all through the litter the sun's a visible reminders of the taste connection between the farmers and.
The environment they have created winter rips the north of Lake Biwa the reedbeds show no sign of life but even snow can't totally erase the traces of spring in Sanko rose house the local delicacy is finally ready he caught the carp in his trap in spring he and his wife salted them and when.
Summer came covered them in rice to ferment now a further six months have passed they will eat both fish and rice inside is more evidence of nature's bounty the orange eggs oh why isn't one lightly well now sang Goro invites his neighbors to share the philosophy after half a year and maturing the fish has a sour.
Taste of cheese slow food that is endlessly satisfying preparation preservation and finally appreciation the precious pleasures of people living close to nature right next to their dining room there is the basin full to the brim it's cool in summer warm in winter the Japanese describe tight-knit.
Relationships as being as close as water and fish intimate and inseparable like the pool and its little refugee the Dobby sits in a quiet corner waiting for spring March finally comes round again the reed beds have slept throughout the winter now the first rays of sun coax warmth into them.
Once more the silence yield to sounds of life as the rhythm of the Year picks up so new lives human and animal the Japanese have another say water comes the fish they mean that when the right time comes everything sandor Oh nerves but in the waves of the llama everything has its season together.
Settle younger people in nature we've life into a seamless fabric blessed by water circling on its journey without end new season new year a new cycle or begin in Japan's secret you.
The reedbeds show no sign of life but even snow can't totally erase the traces of spring in some girl's house the local delicacy is finally ready he caught the carp in his trap in spring he and his wife salted them and when summer came covered them in rice to ferment now a further six months have.
Passed they will eat both fish and rice inside is more evidence of nature's bounty the orange eggs oh boy am i well now sang Goro invites his neighbors to share the philosophy after half a year of maturing the fish has a sour taste of cheese slow food that is endlessly satisfying preparation preservation and finally.
Appreciation the precious pleasures of people living close to nature right next to their dining room there is the basin full to the brim it's cool in summer warm in winter the Japanese describe tight-knit relationships as being as close as water and fish intimate and inseparable like the pool and this little refugee the Gobi sits in.
A quiet corner waiting for spring March finally comes round again the reedbeds have stepped throughout the winter now the first rays of Sun coax warmth into them once more the silence yield to sounds of life as the rhythm of the year picks up so new lives human and animal.
the Japanese have another safe water comes the fish they mean that when the right time comes everything Sandor announced that in the way of summer everything has its Susan together sattell yama people who nature weave.
Life into a seamless fabric blessed by water surfing on its journey without end new season new year a new cycle or beginning in Japan's secret water garden
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