If you thought crop circles were wonderful, take a look at these amazing works of art that have sprung up on the face of rice fields in Japan. While we may still be clueless about the hand that drew circles in crop fields, the pictures you see here are not instrumental of alien intelligence. They have been drawn by simple, yet hardworking farmers who, perhaps, got together one day and decided that there had to be a way to make paddy farming more interesting!
The concept of making giant-sized pictures on the earth is not a new one to mankind. Animal figures and geometric shapes by the Nazca people living in Peru, chalk figures that can be seen on British hillsides, and the Great Serpent Mound in Ohio credited to Native Americans have proved that man has refused to be limited to merely a canvas for his creative inclinations.
The artistic rice farming I am talking about is dated to more modern times. It began in the tiny village of Inakadate in 1993. Although these pictures are rather brilliant, no ink or dye has been used. In fact, the variations in color come from four different types of rice.
The process of making a single picture is painstaking and laborious. Each year, a theme is decided upon, which is produced in the form of a computerized sketch by the local art teacher. This picture is then transferred to a grid, and mapped with the help of thousands of dots. These are then recreated point by point onto the rice field.
Finally, it’s time to plant the rice shoot. All the villagers come together to do their bit in creating a masterpiece and each shoot is planted by hand. Their efforts bear fruit only after three months when the field seems to burst forth into colors and animated images.
Such is the magnetism of this rice art that nearly 150,000 visitors travel 600 miles north of Toyko, to see this unbelievable phenomenon for themselves from up close and personal.
Needless to say, it is quite an overwhelming experience for this village that has a population of less than 9000 people. They are still getting used to their newfound fame.
However many times you may have seen these creations, it is still a sight that is spell-binding. Sometimes, a Sengoku warrior greets their eyes and at another time it could be Napoleon on horseback. They have even reproduced Hokusai’s iconic print “The Great Wave.” From the Mona Lisa to an almost cherubic Buddha, the modest dwellers of Inakadate seemed to have tried their hands at everything.This artistic creation is short lived and at the end of the harvest season, the earth is wiped clean like a classroom board, eagerly waiting for the next year for another installment of creative ingenuity. Personally speaking, while I save seen many people make art their livelihood, this instance of turning livelihood into a form of art is…..inspiring.