The Abundance of Less

The Abundance of Less

Lessons in Simple Living From Rural Japan

Book - 2017
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"Andy Couturier captures the texture of sustainable lives well lived in these ten profiles of ordinary--yet exceptional--men and women who left behind mainstream existences in urban Japan to live surrounded by the luxuries of nature, art, friends, delicious food, and an abundance of time. Drawing on traditional Eastern spiritual wisdom and culture, these pioneers describe the profound personal transformations they underwent as they escaped the stress, consumerism, busyness, and dependence on technology of modern life. This intimate and evocative book tells of their fulfilling lives as artists, philosophers, and farmers who rely on themselves for happiness and sustenance. By inviting readers to enter into the essence of these individuals' days, Couturier shows us how we too can bring more meaning and richness to our own lives."--Page 4 of cover.
Publisher: Berkeley, California :, North Atlantic Books,, [2017]
Edition: Second Edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781623171322
1623171326
Characteristics: xx, 405 pages : illustrations, map ; 23 cm

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MikeEe
Apr 25, 2019

Couturier is a fine writer, and these 10 biographies, read as stories about unusual individuals enjoying country life in Japan, are interesting, but to claim that there are lifestyle and environmental lessons to be learned here is not true. There are no lessons here - the simple rely-on-yourself lifestyles portrayed in this big book are not scalable. And certainly not environmentally friendly.

Imagine if we all went back to the land and started growing our own food and relying on ourselves. How much land would that take? And who would make all the things we couldn’t make ourselves - not only the vehicle(s) we’d inevitably need - but also the books we’d like to read with all our new-found time. (There’s a thing for books that works incredibly well right now - it’s called the library.)

Couturier’s touchstones of gentle, humble, simple, slow and small are better achieved together, in an urban setting where density and walking and biking and transit are the best transportation options. Everyone trying to get away from it all by heading to the countryside will only diminish all lives.

Enjoy reading this book for the interesting individuals portrayed, and skip the proselytizing.

k
KristinB_0
Dec 06, 2018

Absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning about a simple life with less.

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