The Mokichi Okada Assn., also known as MOA, was established in 1980 to continue the work and founding principles of Mokichi Okada. In the 1930s, Okada developed a healthcare system based on new medicine with the intention of nourishing the body, mind and spirit by creating a healthy civilization in harmony with nature.
Through the fields of medicine, agriculture and the arts, MOA aims to prevent illness and promote wellness. The organization also includes the Okada Health and Wellness Program, structured to incorporate the practices of the three major enterprises of MOA -- the Okada Purifying Therapy, Nature Farming and Arts and Culture Therapy -- into everyday life. Activities such as the Japanese tea ceremony and flower arranging are believed to act as therapies fostering physical and spiritual health.
The organization, which has centers scattered throughout Japan, has branched out to international locations in Hawaii and, more recently, California. In 1999, retired farmers Tadashi and Yoko Mori donated five acres in Fresno to MOA. The farm promotes Okada's philosophy to respect the soil and not resort to artificial chemicals such as synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, in order to produce natural, chemical-free foods rich in vital energy and flavor for the community. The now 10-acre farm and orchard, called the Oasis Garden, offers certification programs, seasonal classes and CSA produce boxes, also available at the center in West L.A.
The MOA Wellness Center in Mar Vista opened in March 2010. Walk in and you've entered a quiet haven, a definite gem in the midst of the bustling city. In addition to offering Angelenos produce from the farm in Fresno, the center holds workshops on home gardening and raw food. On any visit, the tea ceremony is a must.
4533 S. Centinela Ave., L.A., (310) 574-9900, moawellness.org.
-- Caitlin Keller
Photos: The Oasis Farm in Fresno. Credit: Moa-fresno.org