March 1st, 2010

drinking bird

The rice fields of Japan

I have some stunning images to show you



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


Stunning art has cropped up across the fields of Japan.
But this is no alien creation, the designs have been cleverly planned.
Farmers doing the huge creations use no ink or dye. Instead,

different colors of rice plants have been strategically arranged
and grown in the paddy fields.

As summer progresses and the plants shoot up,  plants begin to show the designs.

The color is created by using different varieties, in Inakadate in Japan
The largest and finest work is grown in Aomori village in Inakadate,
600 miles north of Tokyo, where the tradition began in 1993.

The village has now earned a reputation for its agricultural artistry , and this year
the enormous picture of Napoleon and a Sengoku-period warrior, both on horseback,
are visible in a pair of fields adjacent to the town hall.

Every summer, more than 150.000 come to Inakadate, where just 8,700 people live,
to see the extraordinary designs.
Each year  hundreds of volunteers and villagers plant four different varieties of rice
in late May across the paddy fields

Napoleon on horse back

Fictional warrior Naoe Kanetsugu and his wife Osen appear in the fields of the
town of Yonezawa
. They were featured in the TV series Tenchijin.

Over the past few years, other villages have joined in with the plant designs.
Various artwork has popped up in other rice-farming areas, including
designs of  Doraemon and deer dancers


Viewers have to climb the mock castle tower of the village office to get a glimpse of the work

Rice-paddy art was started in 1993 as a local revitalization project, the idea was initiated in meetings of village committees.

A close-up view

In the first 9 years, the farmers grew a simple design of Mount Iwaki. But their ideas
grew more complicated and attracted more attention.

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 colored
rice varieties that bring the images to life.