'Rice paddy art' reaches new heights of sophistication
News On Japan via Asahi -- Aug 20
In the hands of a true "artiste," just about anything can be transformed into a canvas for creative expression--even a rice paddy.
"Rice paddy art," which the village of Inakadate claims to have pioneered in 1993, has been evolving into a sophisticated form with the increasing addition of rice plants in diverse colors and improved techniques to present intricate designs.
This year's themes in Inakadate are "the goddess of mercy" and "the god of fire," to be interpreted in rice paddies measuring 143 x 104 meters.
The huge pictures come to life in rice plants of white, red, purple, yellow and three other shades, just as if they were enormous painted versions.
"Our techniques and the final outcome are making great strides each year," said Takatoshi Asari, a village official in charge of the rice paddy art project.
Until 2001, the village had created an image of a local mountain with the use of rice plants in green, yellow and purple.
Originating from the Edo Period (1603-1867), the yellow and purple rice plants are common in the area.
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