Japanese rice art

This isn’t the first time I’m stunned by something the world has known about for years…but it’s still cool, so I’m still sharing it. Reported by the NYT in 2010.

The enterprising and creative (and insanely detail-oriented) souls living in Inakadate, Japan began planting their rice fields a bit differently a couple of decades ago as a tourist draw. As time has passed, the plantings have become more and more complex, incorporating genetically-engineered plants (for color variation) and computer-engineered models for the incredibly specific planting patterns that result in some pretty dramatic images. Not surprisingly, most interesting art tends to lead to imitation, as it did in Yonezawa, Japan – though it’s hard for me to note much quality difference between the “inventors” and the “followers” in many cases. Here are some of my favorite examples of what is commonly known as “paddy art”.

Different colors close-up – Inakadate, 2012
(Photo: Manisha Kundu-Nagata on Life with hubby blog)

Ukiyo-e homage – Inakadate, 2005
(Photo: Flickr user tamjpn)

Hokusai – Inakadate, 2007
(Photo: Solent for The Telegraph)

Samurai & consort – Yonezawa, 2009
(Photo: Flickr user contri)

Gods & Goddesses – Inakadate, 2012
(Photos: Manisha Kundu-Nagata on Life with hubby blog)

As if that weren’t all fascinating enough, there are some images online of the process as well…here’s the Hokusai from above from planting through to harvesting. (Photos: Inakadate Village Office)


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