In this chapter, we discuss a brief overview of the biology of mushrooms and the nature of the relationship between fungi and some coniferous trees. What is in this relationship that make possible for trees to grow on very unpromising, dry and rocky soils?
Why are anthropologists interested in mushrooms? Encounters creates difference. In this chapter we discuss how Anna Tsing encountered matsutake mushrooms, and how the Brazilian group LABFICC created a project called Thinking with Fungi, affected by Anna Tsing's book.
In the first part of the fourth chapter, we will get to know a little more of the story of how matsutake disappeared in Japan - where they have once been abundant. What happened naturally and culturally for this outcome?
Could the disappearance of matsutake have something to do with their surprisingly appearance in the Eastern Cascades, state of Oregon? The 20th century was the place for different stories of matsutake in Japan and in Oregon. These stories with opposite outcomes can have more links than we would assume at first.