Japanese “Field Of Dreams”

14 Sep

I could’ve written about this before, as I saw it on TV a few years ago…but I didn’t think about mentioning it on my blog until now.

There’s a small rural farming town in 青森県 (Aomori Prefecture, Japan) called 「田舎館村」 (“Inakadate-mura“).

The town’s name actually means “Countryside Palace Village”…so you know it must be a small town with a name like that!

There’s not much in that town except rice farms.

So in an effort to bring revenue to the town, a number of years ago the townspeople decided to work together and turn one of the village’s largest rice field’s into a work of art.

It was an immense amount of work to do it…but they hoped that their effort would boost sales of the village’s rice and maybe even bring tourists to the town to see the decorated field.

Well, their hard-work paid off.
People from all over Japan made the trip to 田舎館村 (Inakadate-mura) to see the amazing rice field…and sales of their rice has increased as well.

The town’s population is only about 8,700 people…but 150,000 people went to see the rice field art!

They make these unbelievable works of art by planting different types of rice plants that have foliage of different colors…but not until painstakingly planning where each and every seed will be planted!

It was alot of work, and the artwork in the rice field only lasts about three or four months…but due to the immense success, the town continues to make a different picture in the rice field every year.

Here are a few photos of the rice field artwork that the town of 田舎館村 (Inakadate-mura) made over the years (taken from the town’s official website):

The rice artwork in Inakadate-mura from summer 2002.

The rice artwork in Inakadate-mura from summer 2002.

From summer 2003

From summer 2003

Half of 2005's art...

Half of 2005's art...

the other half of 2005's art

the other half of 2005's art

Half of last year's (2008)

Half of last year's (2008)

the other half of 2008's

the other half of 2008's

This year's artwork (can be seen until about the end of next month (2009 Oct))

This year's artwork (can be seen until about the end of next month (2009 Oct))

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21 Responses to “Japanese “Field Of Dreams””

  1. LOUIS February 2, 2010 at 3:51 am #

    Great post! Thanks for sharring!

    Like

  2. Mom September 22, 2009 at 9:45 pm #

    Beautiful work but it must be very time consuming. do they pay artists to do this?

    Like

    • tokyo5 September 22, 2009 at 10:20 pm #

      The townspeople worked together to help their own town.
      Volunteer work…no pay.

      Like

  3. livingintokyo September 17, 2009 at 10:40 pm #

    I just wonder if the different types of rice have slightly different flavors.
    Japanese are generally very good at ‘tasting’ different types of rice, unlike my western palate which can’t detect these subtle differences.

    If the rice does taste different, it must be a helluva job picking out the different grains! 😉 Or do they just blend them all together?

    Like

    • tokyo5 September 17, 2009 at 11:33 pm #

      I don’t think harvesting it is as much work as planning and planting where each plant should go to make the artwork! For the most part, each of the rice types are in groups…so I’d imagine keeping them separate when picking them is probably extra work, but not impossible.

      Like

  4. Metal Misfit September 16, 2009 at 6:56 am #

    Beautiful!

    Like

  5. anohito September 16, 2009 at 12:03 am #

    thank you for putting the ふりがな up! its very useful 🙂 i’ll be sure to make more comments in the future, for now i’m enjoying all your old posts which I have not read yet.

    Like

    • tokyo5 September 16, 2009 at 1:35 am #

      OK. Thanks.
      And I look forward to reading you comments.

      Like

      • anohito91 September 16, 2009 at 5:18 pm #

        just thought I would let you know, I now have an account, so you’ll be hearing more from me in the future I’m sure!

        Like

      • tokyo5 September 17, 2009 at 11:28 pm #

        I just looked at your site.
        When you start writing posts on it, let me know. 🙂

        Like

  6. bartman905 September 15, 2009 at 12:35 pm #

    My sister-in-law recently sent me an email about this, with the same pictures you have on your blog and was asking about it – I didn’t know then, but now I know.

    Have you seen this in person?

    Like

    • tokyo5 September 15, 2009 at 10:33 pm #

      >I didn’t know then, but now I know.

      Did you learn about it from my blog?
      OK, I’m glad! 🙂

      >Have you seen this in person?

      No. It’s too far from Tokyo to make a special trip…but if I ever go to 青森県, I’d consider passing thru 田舎館村 to see the field (if it happened to be late Summer / early Autumn…when the crops have grown).

      Like

  7. Sir Pent September 15, 2009 at 5:06 am #

    I think it’s wonderfully cool…but man, what an effort and expense for a temporary piece of art.

    Christo would be proud!

    Like

    • tokyo5 September 15, 2009 at 10:30 pm #

      >what an effort and expense for a temporary piece of art.

      Japanese people believe that a full effort should be given for any job…even if it’s “temporary”. (That’s why haircuts, meals, etc are always done perfectly in Japan).

      >Christo would be proud!

      I didn’t who that is…so I “Googled” him.
      He’s an artist who specializes in “temporary” art. OK, I see.
      I just read that he has done work in Japan before.

      Like

  8. gigihawaii September 15, 2009 at 1:23 am #

    Beautiful art. But how can people see the overall design when they visit up close? Is there a tower where they can see the design?

    Like

    • tokyo5 September 15, 2009 at 10:23 pm #

      Yes, there’s a nearby tall building where people can go up to the observation deck and see the whole field.

      Like

  9. anohito September 15, 2009 at 1:20 am #

    I’m quite new to the blog, and i really love it! I study japanese at university, and so am always interested in new kanji. Now, it may just be me but, the ふりがな on this post wasn’t showing up >.<!

    Like

    • tokyo5 September 15, 2009 at 10:22 pm #

      Thanks. Please visit my blog often…and comment anytime.

      >the ふりがな on this post wasn’t showing up

      I guess I forgot to add it when I wrote this post…I just added it.
      You can see it now, can’t you?

      Like

  10. Sir Pent September 14, 2009 at 11:35 pm #

    Speaking of art…the new Ace Frehley album is released tomorrow.
    I’ve listened to the streaming version. I must admit that the first 3 or 4 songs leave me pretty cold. When he hits the cover of FOX ON THE RUN though, the album really takes off. I enjoy the rest of it quite a bit.
    (The first song FOXY & FREE is AWWWFULLL!!!)

    Like

    • tokyo5 September 15, 2009 at 12:25 am #

      As far as KISS members solo releases…I only have both of Gene Simmons albums, both of Paul Stanley’s, one of Peter Criss’, two ESP albums, and two of Ace Frehley’s.

      I’ll only get his new one if I hear it first myself and like it alot.

      Like

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