Soil, it is always underfoot, but we really don’t know enough about it.
Over our previous 7 episodes, we have focused deeply on “The Journey of Water”, Volume 1 of our Shonai Life Village Report. Through the reports, we have learned that water enriches soil in its cycle of changing into different forms and states, such as rain, snow, ground water, river water, spring water, irrigation water, household water, and finally sea water. It can not only be a benefit, but also can be threatening. As we reported, one of the reasons why the circulating water of Shonai has so many stories is the fact that the Shonai Plain is a rice-producing region. Paddy fields have been created through generations of effort and dot the plain everywhere.
In addition to the long-running cultivation of rice, water is drawn for our everyday life through the generous water supply, and thus can be easily accessed and directly tasted by people. About 60% of the human body is made up of water. Also, with bathing, laundering, cooking, dishwashing, etc., every aspect of man’s life is inseparable from water.
In changing our point of view in this second volume of Shonai Life Village Report, we will focus on “soil.” There ought to be no objection from the perspective of agriculture, as well as culture, that soil is one of the most important elements of man’s life. However, we must wonder how much we really know about soil, which is all around us. How little or how much do we know about it?
In looking back to our first volume of the Shonai Life Village Report, Re: Water from the Forest, we even began by mentioning “soil” in the first sentence. We have visited various places around Shonai since, and it could be said that there is always soil at our feet. We have blackish soil, reddish soil, muddy soil, and dry soil. Soil… what on earth is “earth”, really?