Who was George Ohsawa ?

Sunday 30 August 2009

Langues :

Suffering "incurable" diseases at the age of 18, George Ohsawa learned about this approach to diet from two of Mr. Ishizuka’s disciples, Manabu Nishibata and Shojiro Goto. After completely restoring his own health, Ohsawa joined ShokuYo-Kai. He was later elected the association’s President. Before Ohsawa started his prolific writing career there were only a few books in Japan on the subject of diet and health. Mr. Akira Iida was a director of Shoku-Yo-Kai, and one of the editors of the magazine published by that organization.


George Ohsawa was the founder of the Macrobiotic diet and philosophy. When living in Europe he went by the pen names of Musagendo Sakurazawa, Nyoiti Sakurazawa, and Yukikazu Sakurazawa. He also used the French first name Georges while living in France, and his name is sometimes also given in this spelling.

Ohsawa was born in a family whose father was descended directly from samurai. But this was the period of the Meiji Restoration and his family were very poor. He had to leave school after the compulsory high school as there was no money for higher education. This is when his spiritual path started. Around 1913 he met up with Nishibata Manabu (a direct disciple of the late Sagen Ishizuka) and studied with him in Tokyo in the movement Shoku-yo Kai.

Later he travelled to Europe, particularly Paris, France where he started to spread his philosophy. After several years he returned to Japan to start a foundation, and gather recruits for his now formalized philosophy. After drawing attention to himself during World War II for his pacifist ideals, he moved his institution to a remote area in the mountains of Yamanashi prefecture.

It is presumed that he got the western name for his movement from a book written by Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland, a famous Prussian physician. It is known that he spent time in Europe with a descendant of Hufeland.


BOOKS by George Ohsawa

- Zen Macrobiotics: The Art of Rejuvenation and Longevity
- Macrobiotics: An Invitation to Health & Happiness
- Macrobiotics: The Way of Healing
- You Are All Sanpaku
- The Art of Peace: A New Translation of the Book of Judo
- Gandhi: The Eternal Youth
- Philosophy of Oriental Medicine: Key to Your Personal Judging Ability
- Practical Guide to Far-Eastern Macrobiotic Medicine
- The First Macrobiotic Cookbook

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