Japanese Farmers Use Coloured Rice Plantations To Make Art


A boost to the tourism industry can mean a lot of benefits for the region. That is why, during the early 90s, as part of a revitalization effort, Japan decided to carry out a novel idea in order to boost tourism in a certain town. The town’s name was Inakadate, and the unique approach that was taken up was large-scale rice paddy art.

Every year, about a thousand local volunteers come together and make use of seven different sorts of rice as their color palette to help with the planting process. Over the course of the years, the designs have evolved, and now the large-scale rice paddy art has become complex. However, it does  have a high pay-off; the large-scale rice paddy art is capable of drawing in hundreds of thousands of tourists every year.

Each year in April, a conference is held where the design for the next year’s rice paddy art is selected. Once the theme has been finalized, the village officials come up with basic digital mockups in line with the theme. These digital mockups are then refined by the local art teachers into complex concept drawings. Once this has been done, markers are placed. These markers help map out each drawing prior to planting. The whole process can last for about three months.

The mural measures in at 15,000 square meters and generally is all about celebrating the local heritage and folklore. This year’s designs were aimed at the depiction of Yamata no Orochi (the eight-forked serpent) fighting against the Shinto god of sea and storms, Susanno.

You can check out some of the amazing murals below and don’t forget to check out the video where the vice mayor of the village, Yukio Kasai, details the process of rice paddy art. What do you think of this amazing technique to boost tourism by the way?