The term "macrobiotics" was first used by the western philosopher Hippocrates, referring to people who were healthy and live long. The word "macrobiotics" comes from Greek; "macro" meaning "large" or "long," and "bios" meaning "life." Other ancient philosophers such as Aristotle also used the word macrobiotics. The word points to the concept of "life style with a simple and balanced diet" which eventually leads to "health and long life."
The word was resuscitated in Japan after many years of absence. There were two people involved in this historical event: Sagen Ishizuka (1851-1909) who was the founder of the nourishing diet and Yukikazu Sakurazawa (1893-1966), the founder of the CI Organization (The Japanese Macrobiotic Organization), who popularized the nourishing diet and "MUSO principles" around the world. Both of them recovered from serious illnesses by embracing a simple diet of brown rice, miso soup, sea vegetables, and other traditional Japanese foods. After recovery, they spent many years on research combining the various viewpoints from eastern medicine, eastern philosophy, Christian and Jewish doctrines, modern medicine, and science.
Yukikazu Sakurazawa went to Paris in the 1920's to unveil the life style he based on the macrobiotic principle. Later he addressed himself as George Ohsawa and named his life style "macrobiotics." In the years after his recovery until he died at the age of 74, George Ohsawa adapted macrobiotics to suit the modern life style and visited over 30 countries, giving 7000 speeches and writing more than 300 books.
Today his pupils are active in and outside of Japan. One of his pupils is Michio Kushi, who has dedicated his life to sharing the macrobiotic ideas in America. Michio Kushi and his colleagues were invited several times to speak at the United Nations in New York. There is a macrobiotic organization in the United Nations today. Gradually it is becoming a world standard of life style and diet.
Among other pupils of George Osawa is Shuzo Okada who founded MUSO group. Nowadays, Yuko Okada, the son of Shuzo Okada, leads MUSO as a worldwide trader & distributor of organic & macrobiotics foods.
Today, more western countries are recognizing and accepting the advanced health concepts of macrobiotics, even more so than eastern countries. Approximately 3,000,000 people in the US and a total of 10,000,000 worldwide are practicing the macrobiotic concept.