Satoyama: Japan’s Secret Water Garden (2004)

Satoyama: Japan's Secret Water Garden Documentary

Satoyama: Japan’s Secret Water Garden - This 52 minutes long documentary film was aired in the year 2004. The documentary film is about Rice fields in Japan, which has been a part of it from a very long time. So long that it has shaped the land and the part of the Japanese landscape. The countries largest fresh water Lake Biwa lies not far from the ancient city of Kyoto. Along their side, stands patches of wooden where from centuries people have found their fuel and fruits. This is the landscape that Japanese people holds so close to their hearts. They had special word for it they call it Satoyama.

The documentary says, as the re-progressing years bring changes to the country in the spring dry fields turns into wetlands. The cold mountain water spread over the dry fields, they gradually filled the water linking the mountains and to Lake Biwa. Slowly it penetrates through the earth, wetting the soil again after the freezing winter. Mountain water is full of nutritional value so each year, it is enhancing the fecundity of the fields. Waterways are covered with cement which links these fields to Lake Biwa. For the catfish, the time is crucial and they spend the winter into the deep water of the lake, however, now they need shoal water where they can lay their eggs. The water garden, Satoyama provides what they exactly wants.

Satoyama: Japan’s Secret Water Garden - Further the documentary says, wood have been used for centuries by the people, who come here to find fruit, to gather firewood and to make Chocó’s. The end of the June is mid summer; the days are long and warm. The people residing in the little villages and along sides the grain areas create their own public contribution of Satoyama. The flowers in the gardens are unimportant source of nectar for many species including swallow tallied butterflies.

Winter is the time of rest for the farmers soon work in the fields will resume once again, water will flow from the mountains and rice will be planted and creatures of the woods and lake will come back. The water garden Satoyama will fill again with life.

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