Kenji's vegetarianism was undoubtedly a result of his belief that "We must search for true happiness for all living creatures. " The Grand Vegetarian Festival recounts a humorous debate between a vegetarian and an opponent of vegetarianism.
Kenju's Wood tells the story of Kenju, a boy who the other townspeople regard as somewhat lacking in intelligence, who plants a cedar wood behind his house.
Time moves on and everything in the town changes----all except the cedar wood Kenju planted, which is still a place that a new generation of children enjoy and play in as other children did before them. The story portrays Kenju's persistence in planting and raising the seedlings in a place where everyone says it is impossible to raise cedars, and his steadfastness in the face of other, weaker persons who ridiculed him. Surely Kenji's belief that Kenju's simple honesty is much more valuable than the accepted knowledge of a particular period is in evidence here.
In our quest to preserve natural ecosystems in a flourishing state, modern ecologists are beginning to recognize that we have much to learn from the wisdom of native people's who have traditionally lived in harmony with their natural environment. The Bears of Nametoko and The Origin of Deer Dance are stories that examine the joys and sorrows experienced by their respective main characters: Kojuro, a famous bear hunter, and Kaju, who live in an interdependent relationship with the wild creatures that populate the natural environment surrounding them. As such, these stories contain many hints for modern-day ecologists.
Who is Kenji Miyazawa? The World of Kenji Miyazawa