Friday, February 05, 2010

Rice Paddy Art

Prepare to be amazed and surprised, as I was.

Stunning crop art has sprung up across rice fields in Japan, but this is no alien creation. The designs have been cleverly planted.

In 2005, agreements between landowners allowed the creation of enormous rice paddy art.

A year later, organizers used computers to precisely plot planting of the four differently colored rice varieties that bring the images to life. 

Farmers creating the huge displays use no ink or dye.  Instead, different color rice plants have been precisely and strategically arranged and grown in the paddy fields.

As summer progresses and the plants shoot up, the detailed artwork begins to emerge.

A Sengoku warrior on horseback has been created from hundreds of thousands of rice plants.

Napoleon on horseback can be seen from the skies.


The farmers create the murals by planting little purple and yellow-leafed Kodaimai rice along with their local green-leafed Tsugaru, a Roman variety, to create the colored patterns in the time between planting and harvesting in September.

The murals in Inakadate cover 15,000 square meters of paddy fields.

From ground level, the designs are invisible, and viewers have to climb the mock castle tower of the village office to get a glimpse of the work.

Closer to the image, the careful placement of the thousands of rice plants in the paddy fields can be seen.

Rice-paddy art was started there in 1993 as a local revitalization project, an idea that grew from meetings of the village committees. In the first nine years, the village office workers and local farmers grew a simple design of Mount Iwaki every year.

But their ideas grew more complicated and attracted more attention.

Creativity makes WORK joyful!


kenju said...

I AM amazed! That is absolutely fantastic!

I'm going to link to it in a day or two.

Travelin'Oma said...

This is unbelievable! What an unexpected art form.

Pat said...

I'm glad it is nothing to do with aliens - like crop circles.

Travelin'Oma said...

I sent you an email but it got returned. I wanted you to know I immortalized you in my blog post today. I never smell Jergens lotion without thinking of you in Mr. Neff's class. Were you in that class? Am I remembering it right? (I do remember you were one of the with-it, cool kids.)

Granny Annie said...

I came here from Imagine's post and am so glad that I did. This is a tremendous blog post.

Arkansas Patti said...

Imagine sent me also. Just amazing. I am glad they have a high place to go to view such wonders.

tiff said...

That's incredibly cool.

Star said...

Incredible. When we were in Japan we saw rice paddies. But not these. Although I have a copy of the sea print.