Giant 3D Coloured Rice Painting

Giant 3D Coloured Rice Painting.

Paddy fields are rarely transformed into works of art, but in the village of Inakadate, in the northern Aomori Prefecture of Honshu Island, Japan, Tanbo Art or Rice Paddy Art has been the vogue since 1992, as the villagers were looking for a way to revitalise their village. Archaeological exploration led to a realisation that rice had been grown in the area for more than 2000 years. To honour this history, the villagers started a rice field behind the town hall with paddy as a canvas, cultivating and using four different types of heirloom and modern strains of rice to create a giant picture in the field. To allow viewing of the whole picture, a mock castle tower 22 meters high was erected at the village office. In 2006, more than 200,000 people visited the village to see the art. For the first nine years, the farmers created a simple picture of Mount Iwaki, before going to more complex designs. Following Inakadate’s example, other villages such as Yonezawa in Yamagata prefecture, have started to create their own Tanbo Art. This colourful display can only be viewed from higher ground from June into August, just before the harvest season, and as you might have expected, the colour changes as the paddy matures.

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