Chapter 1-12

The results are super dense and intense vegetables.  Nagata tomatoes sink in the water whereas regular tomatoes float.  They contain extremely high levels of nutrition and sugar (carbs).  And if that’s not enough good news, they are excessively flavorful and rich in taste. 

Upper: regular tomatoes. Lower: Nagata tomatoes.
Nagata tomatoes sink because they are dense and concentrated.

Just to be clear, Nagata method is not organic.  Organic fertilizer is usually used to amend the soil.  But Nagata farming does not amend the soil much– it is left rocky and arid.  Instead of extensive amendments, Nagata methods provides minimum amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium using liquid fertilizer.

The tables show high nutrient levels of Nagata vegetables.

Comparison of Vitamin C contained in Nagata vegetables and regular vegetables


Comparison of sugar (carbohydrate) contained in regular and Nagata vegetables

Data source:  Terukichi Nagata.  2002.  Oishiisa no Sodatekata.  Japan: Shogakukan



Chapter 1-11: Power of Zero

But we are not Zen monks.  What’s the implication of Zero to us?  Is it applicable to all of us on Earth? First, we ask the plants.

Terukichi Nagata founded the Nagata Farming Method in Japan when he found the power of plants triggered by Zero.  When he was young,  he inherited a mandarin orchard located on hilly, rocky soil.  One day he found that the fruits grown there were actually quite sweet, despite the poor soil conditions.  Mystified, he started investigating what made them unbelievably sweet and delicious.

Terukichi Nagata, the founder of Nagata Farming Method on his farm

Nagata vegetables are grown on surprisingly arid soil.

Nagata  method leaves the soil rocky and arid.  And if that’s not enough (seemingly) bad news for the plants, he also MINIMIZES the water and nutrients given to them.  The amount is reduced to the level that is “barely enough” to allow the trees to survive and grow fruit.

Desperate to capture any drop of water,  the roots become very long.  They branch out extensively to maximize water/nutrient intake.

It’s not just the roots that are frantically working.  Tomato fruit grows hair on the surface to capture any little moisture in the air. The leaves are shrunk and hanging down to send all the water and nutrients to the fruit.  Every sensory receptor in tomatoes are so heightened and aroused to maximize the outcome. The Nagata method is also known as “fasting farming.”

 Tomatoes grow hair desperate to capture every bit of moisture in the air.


Leaves are dry and shrunk in order to send as much water to the fruits.

Images in this page: courtesy of Kensai



Chapter 1-8

This is a departure from the conventional perception that  there is (almost) a linear correlation between the level of external stimulus and satisfaction:  external stimulus (brought by products/services etc.) that generate less pain and more pleasure always result in higher satisfaction. 

This perspective changes when arousal is plugged in to the equation.  Arousal is a bell curve.  An assumption can be made that the marginal satisfaction from the change in pain/pleasure level would start diminishing once it hits the plateau of arousal, and starts going toward boredom or stress direction.

Interaction of External Stimulus and Arousal

But where does the level of external stimulus meet optimum arousal level, when we are talking about satisfaction from products or services?

This is where “Zero” comes into play.

Make an assumption for now, that the current level of pleasure for humans is too much and is not aligned with their optimal arousal level.  (For the sake of simplicity, we will focus on pleasure, not pain, from this point on.)  

Since the assumption is “too much” pleasure, we can simply start reducing the dosage until we find the right point where it crosses the optimal level of arousal.

If you keep subtracting the amount of pleasure, the pleasure will eventually become zero.  “Zero” is the ultimate form of subtraction.

Zero sets a boundary for this experiment: if we keep reducing pleasure towards zero, what will happen to our body and mind?   Will we only feel stress or anxiety? Or will something else emerge?




Chapter 1-3: What is satisfaction?

In order to understand the kind of satisfaction filling Patagonia’s movie “Worn Wear,” revisiting the definition of “satisfaction” is in order.

According to Sigmund Freud, “People want to become happy (satisfied) and to remain so. This endeavor has two sides, a positive and a negative aim: an absence of pain and displeasure, and experiencing of strong feelings of pleasure.”

Satisfaction is a function of two inversely correlated factors: pain and pleasure. We feel more satisfied when pain is reduced and pleasure is gained.   Pain and pleasure can also be called “external stimulus.”

Conceptual Relationship of Pain, Pleasure and Satisfaction

You would almost assume that satisfaction level continues growing rightward as civilization progresses and society develops:  1) shielding mechanisms to reduce pain, and 2) production systems to increase pleasure.

The more advanced the society is, the more abundant it becomes, and the more satisfaction it can deliver. 


There is always room for technology improvements.  It is imperative that products and services keep adding something more for greater satisfaction. It is the golden recipe to lure capricious and demanding customers.

Let’s test if this assumption is correct – does less pain and more pleasure always increase satisfaction?