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Art that’s slow, organic, and… nutritious

by Stuart Candy on August 5th, 02008

Each year, Japanese farmers in the town of Inakadate in Aomori prefecture, some 350 miles north of Tokyo, create “crop art” in the local rice paddies…

From Pink Tentacle:

This stop-motion video of the 2008 Inakadate rice crop art is composed of still images captured daily from June 1 to July 3, 2008 via the roof webcam at the adjacent town hall. The 3.7-acre work features the images of Daikoku, god of wealth (left), and Ebisu, god of fishers and merchants (right), which were created using five different colors of rice plants. On July 4, just as the crop was beginning to mature, the organizers shut down the webcam when they removed the JAL ad portion of the artwork at the request of the rice paddy owner.

So what’s the story?

Inakadate Village started to create rice-paddy art in 1993 as a local revitalization project. No one will take credit for the idea, which seems to have just grown out of meetings of the village committee.
[…]
Divided into teams, they used four kinds of rice: two ancient varieties called ki ine (yellow rice) and murasaki ine (purple rice) that grow into yellow- and brown-leafed plants respectively, and also more modern Beni Miyako (Red Miyako) and Tsugaru Roman, an Aomori variety with a fresh-green color.

~Yoko Hani, “Homegrown Art“, The Japan Times, 26 August 02007

Some photographs of earlier efforts can be found here.