Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Rice Paddy?

When is a paddy not a paddy? When it's a canvas, of course. But as staff writer YOKO HANI discovered in northern Aomori Prefecture, what's nice to look at is rice to eat as well.

This year's rice-paddy artwork created by the farmers in Inakadate Village in Aomori Prefecture is a reproduction of a famous Edo Period print by Katsushika Hokusai (top), while in their fields in 2006 the village people reproduced "Fujin Raijin Zu Byobu (Wind God and Thunder God Screens)" (left) by the early Edo Period artist Tawaraya Sotatsu (above), and in 2005 they grew rice replicating ukiyo-e works by Sharaku and Utamaro.PHOTOS From  INAKADATE VILLAGE OFFICE

Mysterious "corn circles" of incredible complexity that appear overnight, or a baseball park as in the 1989 film "Field of Dreams" — who knows what you might come across in your local rural idyll these days.

But travel some 600 km north of Tokyo, then take a drive off the beaten track. There, in a village in verdant Aomori Prefecture, who would ever expect to find exquisite Edo Period artworks sprouting amid a swaying green sea of enormous rice paddies?

It's neither a dream, a supernatural mystery, nor fiction.

You can read the rest of this fascinating article on The Japan Times Online.

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