Since 2009, I have been investigating medicinal plants in the Fiji Republic of the South Pacific. Lakeba island, our field for research and investigation, is away from the main island, and it takes less than two hours with a small aircraft or more than one day with a boat from the capital city Suva.
In Lakeba, we use electricity only about an hour and a half in every evening. When my throat dries, I do not get the water in a PET bottle, some boy would climb a coconut tree, drop the coconuts, and I drink the coconut juice. People pick up the fish from the beautiful ocean for the dinner of the day. And if you ask a traditional healer to massage, you would be available to hand her four island potatoes with your thankful thought instead of the payment.
Herbal culture is made up of two elements: succeeding and creating. Fijian herbs are handed down from mother to child and from adults to children. In their herbal culture, their lives are reflected, having close ties like feeling their body temperature and listening to breathing each other. While being together during my research, one of the important things that they taught me was that "a human has great power". People in Fiji firmly grasp the nature close to them, thinking, choosing medicines, and creating what is needed. If they need something, they can create it by themselves instead of getting it with the cash. The wisdom, to start with a situation of nothing being shaped and to create what they need, was to let me make sure their power, human potentials.
Since I became close to Fijian friends, I was convinced that their wisdom and culture would evoke what is fundamentally important to us, the human race, beyond the region of the world. While looking at plants growing up on the earth, realizing the power of plants awakens our imagination and creativity and gives us an entrance to know the wild intelligence of each, plants and humans. It will make us open our hearts and utilize each other with the most precious relationship. I thought it is the basis to use herbs everywhere on the earth.
These several years, mobile phones and the internet system enter the life in Lakeba island and people are moving to an era when electricity and some money are needed. The fact, my friends shining like the sun inherited their culture knitted with plant power and human wisdom, brought me the great respect to them. It makes me to have the desire to tell it to my friends, people in Japan. Young people and children in Fiji are in the mid of change in modern society now. I want to tell them as a person who is from one of the different countries, how marvelous their culture is. I hope that they can continue to use their time to succeed and create their wonderful culture and fabulous wisdom as usual. I am also thinking that it is the most important role for adults to prepare the right job for the next generation.
The power of plants and the power of humans are together, always.
Shio Murakami (at the right)
CEO, Totolab Inc.
with Sinia, my twinnie
the 4th daughter of Nena