The Azumino Rice Paddy Art project has begun!
Haven’t heard of rice paddy art before? It is art that uses a real rice paddy as canvas and rice seedlings to “paint” a huge picture. Depending on the variety, rice—in particular, ancient rice varieties—have different colored grains and leaves. If carefully planted in a specified pattern and layout, these multicolored rice plants can be used to create intricate and beautiful works of art within the rice paddy itself.
This year, Azumino is creating its own work of rice paddy art, which you can go see at Azumino Swiss Village starting this weekend on Saturday, June 15!
Rice paddy art often features designs inspired by popular Japanese anime and manga, movies, culture, and history (such as samurai!). The Azumino 2019 rice paddy art celebrates the coming of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by creating an image of the Idaten (an NHK TV drama) marathon runner played by actor Kankuro Nakamura. The Idaten drama tells the story of first ever Japanese marathon runner to participate in the Olympic Games.
Over the past couple of weeks, the rice paddy “artists” have been preparing the rice paddy for viewing.
This week, the rice paddy art was officially completed when comes to the planting of the seedlings, but the artwork itself will continue to evolve and change as the rice grows and matures. The photo below shows the art in its “freshest” state.
You can view the rice paddy art from a special viewing platform at Azumino Swiss Village from this weekend until November 29. Seeing how the art changes throughout the season is one of the most exciting things about rice paddy artwork, so if you have a chance, go check it out on a few different days. If you want to aim for the best season, that is, when the art appears the most vivid, then you will want to aim for mid-July through mid-August.
You can read all about the Azumino Rice Paddy Art on the special feature page and get information on the viewing platform hours, price, access, and more. The page even has a live camera so you can see the current state of the rice paddy art at any time!