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Friday, July 24, 2015

Rice Paddy Art

Here's some very cool ambo āto (田んぼアート, rice paddy art) - seen here in this YOUTUBE video … featuring those every-loving gay druids (not that there's anything wrong with that), C-3PO in gold (left) and R2D2 - who is also in gold, but is, usually white and blue.

WTF is up with Star Wars and Japan? They really love it!

To create the rice paddy art, farmers plant rice of differing types and colors to create the giant images… yes, images… on the 15,000-square-meter field. 

This particular piece of rice paddy art is the 2015 version done by the people of Inakadate, Aomri-ken.

The rice paddy artwork has been created here in Inakadate since 1993, as a means to create some tourist spunk - mostly because archaeologists had discovered that in this area, rice had been grown for more than 2,000 years.

Created in the rice paddy behind the town hall―not an unusual occurrence in rural Japan, the villagers planted four different types of heirloom and modern rice to 'draw' the image.

Tourism - oh, it worked, as the village of Inakadate noted that some 200,000 people visited the area JUST to see the rice paddy art.

Between 1993-and 2001, the village of Inakadate just recreated a simple, if not unspectacular image of local Mount Iwaki
2002: Mount Iwaki refined

But, after that… well… they got really artsy.

2003: Mona Lisa, by Leonardo da Vinci; 
Image from

2004: Shikō Munakata – "Two Bodhisattvas and Ten Great Disciples of Shakamuni Buddha" and "Queen Mountain God";

 2005: Sharaku's ukiyo-e "Otani Oniji" and Utamaro's – "Anthology of Poems: The Love Section" ukiyo-e;
Sharaku's Otani Oniji" (Left)  and Utamaro's – "Anthology of Poems: The Love Section" (Right).

2006: Tawaraya Sōtatsu (17th century), "Fujin and Raijin" 
Fujin, Japanese god of Wind -
Raijin, Japanese god of lightning, rain and storms -

2007 – famed artist Hokusai – from Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji: "The Great Wave off Kanagawa" ukiyo-e and "South Wind, Clear Sky"
Hokusai's The Great Wave off Kanagawa ukiyo-e (left of the road) . South Wind, Clear Sky ukiyo-e on the right.

2008 – Ebisu and Daikokuten
Two of the seven Japanese luck gods, Eibisu and Daikokuten -

2009 – Sengoku military commander & Napoleon

Naoe Kanetsugu, Japanese samurai warrior -

France's Napoleon -

 2010 - Samurai battling a Warrior Monk

 2011 - Tale of the Bamboo Cutter Folk Story
Moon Princess returning to her people at the end of the folk tale.
Bamboo Cutter and wife examining the glowing spot where they find the baby Moon Princess.

2012 - Japanese Goddess of Mercy and God of Fire & Wisdom & The Seven Japanese Luck Gods & a Dragon Head & manga super robot hero Mazinga-Z
Japanese Goddess of Mercy (left) and God of Fire & Wisdom.
Dragon head (far left) and the Seven Japanese Luck Gods on boat.
Mazinga-Z (far right).

2013 - Geisha and Marilyn Monroe and TV superhero Ultraman
Geisha -
Marilyn Monroe
Ultraman -

 2014 - Heavenly Maiden & Mt. Fuji & anime Sazaesan
Heavenly Maiden & Mt. Fuji tale.

Anime Sazaesan.

2015 - Star Wars. Anyone know what the hell that structure/droid or transport is in the left of the image?  Whoops! This just in, Julien tells me that is BB-8 - a new droid set to appear in Episode 7 of Star Wars: The Force Awakens
I wonder if the modern iconography is more popular than the classic reproductions of ukiyo-e art?

I do know that there was a hue and cry back in 2008 when the village was offered Y2-million to alter their original design and ADD at the base the logos of local newspaper To-o Nippo and Japan Airlines.

In fact, seeds were planted to include the advertising…

But under threat, saner heads prevailed, and deciding not to capitalize on the artwork proceeded… except of course for the village capitalizing on the artwork re: tourism.

The seedlings were removed without incident.

Because imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, or because "I want to make a profit, too", other Japanese villages have also begun creating their own tambo āto.

Special thanks to Alice for the heads-up. See you on the other side of the looking glass.

Somewhere outstanding in my field,
Andrew Joseph


  1. Replies
    1. Naw - that's cool, Julien. Thanks for the heads-up! Master b-b8...

  2. Replies
    1. That, my friend - was spam. Pain in the you know what...