Masaru Emoto

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Masaru Emoto
Born (1943-07-22) July 22, 1943 (age 71)
Yokohama, Japan
Education Yokohama Municipal University

Masaru Emoto (江本 勝 Emoto Masaru?, born July 22, 1943) is a Japanese author and entrepreneur, who claims that human consciousness has an effect on the molecular structure of water. Emoto's conjecture has evolved over the years. Initially he believed that water takes on the "resonance" of the energy which is directed at it, and that polluted water can be restored through prayer and positive visualization.[1][clarification needed] Emoto's work is widely considered to be pseudoscience. He is criticized for going directly to the public with misleading claims that violate basic physics, and for failing to investigate properly the truth of the claims that he makes.[2][3]

Since 1999 Emoto has published several volumes of a work titled Messages from Water, which contain photographs of water crystals and their accompanying experiments. Emoto's ideas appeared in the movie What the Bleep Do We Know!?.[3][4][5]


Born in Yokohama, Japan, Emoto graduated from Yokohama Municipal University after taking courses in International Relations. In 1986, he established the I.H.M. Corporation in Tokyo, and is currently head of the I.H.M. General Research Institute Inc., President of I.H.M. Inc. and chief representative of I.H.M.'s HADO Fellowship.[citation needed] In the mid-1990s, he began studying water in more detail.[6]

Emoto is President Emeritus of the International Water For Life Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Oklahoma City in the US.[7] Emoto became a Doctor of Alternative Medicine at the Open International University for Alternative Medicine in India in 1992.[8] Degrees like this can be bought for under $500.[1][9][10]


Emoto has stated, "Water is the mirror that has the ability to show us what we cannot see. It is a blueprint for our reality, which can change with a single, positive thought. All it takes is faith, if you're open to it."[11] He believes that energies or vibrations can change water physically or structurally.[11] Emoto claims these changes can also be eliminated by exposing water to ultraviolet light or certain electromagnetic waves.[11]

Emoto's water crystal experiments consist of exposing water in glasses to different words, pictures or music, and then freezing and examining the aesthetics of the resulting crystals with microscopic photography.[7][12] Emoto makes the claim that water exposed to positive speech or thoughts (intention) will result in "beautiful" crystals being formed when that water is frozen and that negative intention will yield "ugly" frozen crystal formations.[7] This phenomenon has not been published in any peer reviewed scientific journal.[7] The best quality study Emoto has published on the effects of human intention on the structure of water did not yield positive results.[7][9]

Emoto also claims that different water sources produce different crystalline structures when frozen. For example, he claims that a water sample from a mountain stream when frozen will show structures of beautifully-shaped geometric design, but those structures will be distorted and randomly formed if the sample is taken from a polluted water source.

Scientific criticism[edit]

Commentators have criticized Emoto for insufficient experimental controls and for not sharing enough details of his approach with the scientific community.[7][13][14] William A. Tiller, another researcher featured in the documentary What The Bleep Do We Know?, states that Emoto's experiments fall short of proof, since they do not control for other factors in the supercooling of water.[15] In addition, Emoto has been criticized for designing his experiments in ways that leave them prone to manipulation or human error influencing the findings.[7][9][16] Biochemist and Director of Microscopy at University College Cork William Reville wrote, "It is very unlikely that there is any reality behind Emoto's claims."[7] Reville noted the lack of scientific publication and pointed out that anyone who could demonstrate such a phenomenon would become immediately famous and probably wealthy.[7]

Writing about Emoto's theory in the Skeptical Inquirer, physician Harriet A. Hall concluded that it was "hard to see how anyone could mistake it for science".[2] Commenting on Emoto's ideas about clearing water polluted by algae, biologist Tyler Volk stated, "What he is saying has nothing to do with science as I know it."[1] Stephen Kiesling wrote in Spirituality & Health Magazine, "Perhaps Emoto is an evangelist who values the message of his images more than the particulars of science; nevertheless, this spiritual teacher might focus his future practice less on gratitude and more on honesty."[9]

Emoto was offered the One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge by James Randi in 2003, and would have received US$1,000,000 if he had been able to reproduce the experiment under test conditions agreed to by both parties. He has not participated and the prize money is still offered.[17][18]

Literary reception[edit]

Emoto's book, The Hidden Messages of Water was a New York Times best seller.[19][20] Commenting on the book making the best seller list literary critic Dwight Garner wrote in The New York Times Book Review that it was one of those "head-scratchers" that makes us question the sanity of the reading public describing it as "spectacularly eccentric."[20] In 2005 Jill Neimark described Emoto's three volume work, Messages From Water as famous and bestselling.[1] Publishers Weekly stated in a review of The Shape of Love the hypothesis, "is mostly incoherent and unsatisfying."[21]



  • 水からの伝言: 世界初!! 水の結晶写真集 (Mizu kara no dengon: sekaihatsu!! mizu no kesshō shashinshū) [Messages from Water] (in Japanese) 1. Tokyo: Hado. 1999. ISBN 9784939098000. 
    • English edition: The Message from Water: The Message from Water is Telling Us to Take a Look at Ourselves 1. Hado. 2000. ISBN 9784939098000. 
  • 水からの伝言: 世界初!!水の氷結結晶写真集今日も水にありがとう (Mizu kara no dengon: sekaihatsu!! mizu no kesshō shashinshū) [The Messages from Water] (in Japanese) 2. Tokyo: Hado. 2001. ISBN 9784939098048. 
  • 水が伝える愛のかたち (Mizu ga tsutaeru ai no katachi) (in Japanese). Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten. 2003. ISBN 9784198617509. 
    • English edition: The Shape of Love: Discovering Who We Are, Where We Came From, and Where We are Going. New York: Doubleday. 2007. ISBN 9780385518376. 
  • Love Thyself: The Message from Water III. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House. 2004. ISBN 9781401908997. 
  • 水可以改變我生命 : "愛和感謝"的心情可以創造積極的能量 (Shui ke yi gai bian wo sheng ming : "Ai he gan xie" de xin qing ke yi chuan zao ji ji de neng liang) (in Chinese). Taibei Xian Xindian Shi. 2006. ISBN 9789576864971. 
  • Water Crystal Healing: Music & Images to Restore Your Well Being. New York; Hillsboro, OR: Atria: Beyond Words. 2006. ISBN 9781582701561. 


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Neimark, Jill (September–October 2005). "Messages from water?". Spirituality & Health. 
  2. ^ a b Hall, Harriet (November–December 2007). "Masaru Emoto's Wonderful World of Water". Skeptical Inquirer 31.6. [reprint verification needed][copyright violation?]
  3. ^ a b "The minds boggle". The Guardian. May 15, 2005. 
  4. ^ Olmsted, John (October 1, 2004). "Ramtha’s school of quantum flapdoodle". eSkeptic (movie review) (Skeptics Society). ISSN 1556-5696. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  5. ^ Poppy, Carrie (March 11, 2014). "A grain of truth: Recreating Dr. Emoto’s rice experiment". Poppycock (blog). Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  6. ^ "Authors: Dr. Masaru Emoto". Beyond Words Publishing. Retrieved 2013-07-01. [unreliable source?]
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i Reville, William (February 17, 2011). "The pseudoscience of creating beautiful (or ugly) water". The Irish Times (Dublin). p. 14. Retrieved 2014-08-21 – via ProQuest. (subscription required (help)). 
  8. ^ Setchfield, Kristopher. "Are Dr. Masaru Emoto’s Fantastic Claims Actually Real?". 
  9. ^ a b c d Kiesling, Stephen (May–June 2009). "Latest message from water: Is Dr. Emoto a spiritual Madoff?". Spirituality & Health. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  10. ^ Gordon, Sari (September–October 2004). "He talks to water ...and the water talks back. Meet Dr. Emoto". Utne Reader (125). p. 73. Retrieved 2014-08-21 – via ProQuest. (subscription required (help)). 
  11. ^ a b c Gray, Donna (July 26, 2003). "Message in the water". Calgary Herald. p. S8. Retrieved 2014-08-21 – via ProQuest. (subscription required (help)). 
  12. ^ "How to Take a Water Crystal Photograph". Archived from the original on 2011-10-18. Retrieved 2011-10-10. [not in citation given]
  13. ^ Ho, Mae-Wan, "4: Crystal Clear - Messages from Water", Water, Water, Everywhere, Institute of Science in Society. 
  14. ^ Koh, Lay Chin (January 28, 2009). "A 'hado' will never replace a home full of life". New Straits Times (Kuala Lumpur, MY). p. 17. Retrieved 2014-08-21 – via ProQuest. (subscription required (help)). 
  15. ^ Tiller, William (2004). "What the Bleep do we Know!?: A Personal Narrative". Vision In Action 2 (3-4). 
  16. ^ Matthews, Robert (April 8, 2006). "Water: The quantum elixir". New Scientist (2546). (subscription required (help)). 
  17. ^ Mason, Phil (2010). Quantum Glory: The Science of Heaven Invading Earth. Maricopa, AZ: XP Publishing. p. 150. ISBN 9781936101597. 
  18. ^ Randi, James (May 23, 2003). "Chiropractic Crackup, Talking to Water, Sylvia Emerges!, Bidlack's Lumps, An MS Miracle, and a Korean Magic Stone...". Swift (online newsletter). James Randi Educational Foundation. Archived from the original on 2003-06-02. 
  19. ^ Previch, Chad (January 21, 2006). "Want rain? It's all in the brain, expert says". The Oklahoman. Knight Ridder. Retrieved 2014-08-21 – via ProQuest. (subscription required (help)). 
  20. ^ a b Garner, Dwight (March 13, 2005). "TBR: Inside the list". The New York Times Book Review. p. 30. Retrieved 2014-08-21 – via ProQuest. (subscription required (help)). 
  21. ^ "The Shape of Love: Discovering Who We Are, Where We Came From, and Where We're Going". Publishers Weekly (book review) 254 (7). February 12, 2007. p. 79. 

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