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Rice Paddy Art in Full Swing

By July 27, 2017 at 9:54 pm


Heard of the "rice paddy art"? Perhaps not, but here's an episode to tell you what it is. Japan is a great rice country and the people here feed on rice. Rice grows in the paddy and an art has grown out of it.

Now, picture yourself an acre of land you've got to grow rice on. First, you are to get the seedlings ready, cultivate the land well, fill it out with water and mix it nice and pasty. Then, you plant the seedlings, one by one 8 inches apart, all over the paddy. They used to do all this by hand, but nowadays machines are brought in take over much of the manual work.

Make believe the paddy as a canvas, and plant the seedlings in such a way that each seedling marks a drop of paint of certain color and, when viewed from 45° above, the whole paddy shows a prescribed image. Prior to planting, farmers sketch out the designs on computers to figure out where and how to plant the seedlings.

Rice seedlings come in four or five different colors of heirloom and modern s trains of rice.

Kawamatacho, Mito City, held a Paddy Art Fiesta July 23, drawing a 50x100m "picture" of Mito City's mascot character "Mitochan" and the symbol of the Ibaragi National Athletic Meet slated two years ahead.

The Fiesta drew large crowds, who had fun taking pictures of the painted paddy from the 5-meter observation tower.

A woman with her children exclaimed how much fun they were having there, saying:

"So pretty with so many different colors to draw the picture. We'll come next year to how it will be a year after!"

The organizers say the rice paddy art last well into the early part of next month. (Nathan Shiga)

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