This article explores how matsutake, with its elusive characteristics
that evade human senses, guides humans to cultivate a sensitivity
to multispecies entanglements. It analyzes the concept of koto, developed
by psychiatrist Bin Kimura, to describe how people learn to notice the
events and happenings that a variety of beings are engaging in at every
moment, even though these practices often elude human consciousness.
Drawing examples from a manga series and two ethnographic cases
in Japan—a grassroots satoyama forest revitalization movement and
a forest biomass study—the article discusses koto as an ‘ontology’ of
entangled life. At the same time, koto raises questions about ‘ontology’,
as it indicates the traces of struggle in translating the term itself.