He also used the French first name Georges while living in France, and his name is sometimes also given this spelling. He wrote about books in Japanese and 20 in French. He defined health on the basis of seven criteria: lack of fatigue, good appetite, good sleep, good memory, good humour, precision of thought and action, and gratitude. Ohsawa was born into a poor samurai family in Shingu City, Wakayama Prefecture. He had no money for higher education. Around , he joined the Shokuiku movement, studying with Manabu Nishibata, a direct disciple of the late Sagen Ishizuka , in Tokyo.

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FOR most of his life, a Japanese man named George Ohsawa devoted his time to developing and promulgating the concepts of macrobiotic eating, which he believed would lead to a healthier, more balanced life. While Mr. Ohsawa lectured all over the world, his wife, Lima, was always with him. It was her job to develop the application of the theory: to create the recipes and cook food that would exemplify the macrobiotic way.

Ohsawa, who is now 89 years old, has continued that path since her husband died in To people who believe in the health-giving powers of the macrobiotic diet, she is a living legend, a woman who has been involved with this worldwide movement since the beginning.

The philosophy calls for combining foods so that their ''yin'' and ''yang'' properties are balanced. According to Chinese philosophy adapted by the macrobiotic practitioners, yin represents the passive and feminine forces in nature and includes most vegetables; yang represents active and masculine forces, and includes most animal foods and most cereals. The primary emphasis is on grains, vegetables and seaweed, often called sea vegetables.

Beans and fruit are also eaten, as is fish on occasion. Recently, Mrs. Although she is small-boned and fragile-looking, she exudes great strength and determination. Somehow, it seems inadequate to describe her as far younger than her years; actually, she seems to be of no age. In an interview during her visit, Mrs. Ohsawa said she had been sickly as a young woman; at one point, doctors predicted that she would not live past When she was 37, she attended a lecture on health given by Mr.

With his guidance, she changed her diet to reflect macrobiotic principles. The two married about a year later. The word ''macrobiotic,'' Mrs. Ohsawa said, was coined from the word macro, meaning big, and biotic, meaning life.

Like many of the people who ultimately followed his diet, Mr. Ohsawa was initially prompted to look for a different way of eating because he was sick. Ohsawa said, ''he developed tuberculosis and could find no relief from Western-style doctors. Ohsawa retreated to the mountains to try to cure himself. He did get better, Mrs. Ohsawa said, and decided that he wanted to spread the word about macrobiotic principles so that others could benefit.

Although in theory a macrobiotic diet allows some consumption of animal products, most practitioners believe the optimum diet emphasizes grains, vegetables and seaweed. Central to the diet is the concept of balance. When food from the sea is served, it is supposed to be combined with food from the land.

Or when a ''yang'' food like grain is served, it should be combined with a ''yin'' food like vegetables. Macrobiotic dishes may seem boring or underspiced to people who are not accustomed to them. Ohsawa attributes this to the Western diet that is common today. In Tokyo, where she lives, Mrs. Ohsawa teaches cooking classes, writes cookbooks and works with the Nippon C. Foundation to teach people about macrobiotics. During her visit to New York, Mrs.

Ohsawa prepared a meal in the kitchen of Shizuko Yamamoto, a former student of Mr. Ohsawa who started the Macrobiotic Center of New York in It included corn soup, brown rice with green peas, and several kinds of vegetables cooked tempura-style, or deep-fried in oil. Along with it she served a seaweed salad, a salad of radish and cucumber with sea salt and, for condiments, a mixture of soy sauce and grated daikon, sesame seeds and nori, a kind of seaweed. Fresh ingredients should always be used, she said.

For deep frying, sesame oil is preferred. The meal was quite labor-intensive; the vegetables for each dish were diced into small, even pieces. Before frying the food, Mrs. Ohsawa checked that the oil was hot enough by putting in a small piece of batter-covered vegetable; if it dropped down and came immediately back up, the oil was ready. Put the cobs in the water and boil for 10 minutes to make corn stock. Heat the corn oil in a pan. Saute the minced onion in the oil until transparent, about 5 minutes.

Add the corn and saute until hot. Put the corn stock through a strainer to remove any silk. Add the stock to the corn and onion mixture, and cook for 20 minutes.

Stir and cook for another minute. Salt to taste and serve. Yield: 4 servings. In a medium-size pot, bring to a boil about 1 quart salted water, or enough to cover the tofu. Add the tofu and cook for about three minutes. Remove the tofu and set it in a collander or strainer to drain.

Press the tofu to remove as much water as possible. Put the tofu in a bowl and mash it finely. Mold into balls the size of golf balls. If you have trouble forming the balls, there may be too much water in the tofu. If necessary, add a little whole-wheat flour to make the mixture hold together. Put the sesame oil in a pan large and deep enough to keep the croquettes covered in oil.

When the oil is very hot, carefully add about half of the croquettes. Fry for about two or three minutes on each side, until golden in color. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels, then cook the remaining croquettes. View on timesmachine. TimesMachine is an exclusive benefit for home delivery and digital subscribers.

To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems; we are continuing to work to improve these archived versions. Cut the corn off the cobs and reserve the cobs and corn. Yield: About 16 croquettes, or 4 servings. Home Page World U.


With Macrobiotic Cooking, A Balance of Yin and Yang



Lima Ohsawa



George Ohsawa



Bleak House Books


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