Does the above image resemble a rice field? Well not the type of rice field that would immediately come to mind.
This is Japanese Rice Paddy Art - each work a 15,000-square-meter mural designed and created in the Japanese village Inakadate, made up of, up to 7 different types of rice, often depicting local heritage and folklore.
Caroline came across this imaginative form of art which the AnArt4Life team would like to share with you today.
As part of a revitalization effort in the early 90s, the village of Inakadate, Japan, decided on a novel way to boost tourism in their town: large-scale rice paddy art. Now, using seven different kinds of rice as their color palette, over a thousand local volunteers come together each year to help with the planting process. Over time, the designs have evolved in complexity and now draw in hundreds of thousands of tourists every year.
Every April, a conference is held to decide on the design for the next year. When the theme is set, the village officials make a basic digital mockup, which is then refined by local art teachers into intricate concept drawings. Markers are then placed, mapping out each drawing before the planting begins. This process can take up to three months.1
To see these murals at their best, join the Vice Mayor, Yukio Kasai of Inakadate in this short video (3 mins).
Wouldn't it be a joy to walk among these fields of art?
In fact Japan is not alone in using rice to form fabulous murals. Tomorrow we visit India and China to look at how they use rice to form other amazing types of art.