Meiji Noho (Meiji agricultural methods) (明治農法)

Meiji Noho is the general term of accumulation and systemization of the conventional agricultural techniques represented by records on agriculture, as opposed to modern agriculture. Its characteristics are deep plowing using oxes and horses, improvement of soil such as drying rice fields, fertilization techniques, minute seed sorting like healthy seedling with furrow beds, sorting seeds in salt water, and introduction of varieties of high quality plants with high yield and fertilizer-resistant.

Contributions by elderly farmers
During the Meiji period, in which modern agriculture was formed, farmers called 'Rono' (elderly farmers) took the leadership of agricultural improvements in private sector, in contrast to modern science of agriculture led by the government.

Being independent of the modern agriculture studies imported from abroad, they intended to make improvements on techniques from the viewpoint of positivism, based on the accumulation of the conventional agriculture studies before modern times, which was beyond the phase of the mere collection of personal experiences. Among them were those who conducted demonstrative tests of crop comparison among varieties of rice and improvement of species of silkworms by crossbreeding even before the introduction of Mendel's law.

These elderly farmers were eager to make efforts to improve the conventional agriculture by holding Nodankai, or agricultural meetings, and other activities beyond the sphere of their residential area. The result is what is generally called Meiji Noho.

[Original Japanese]