Here’s a unique garden idea from Japan; growing different colored plants to create a picture. The Japanese do it with rice and the pictures they create are huge, covering a whole field. Hundreds of thousands of rice plants are used, with different varieties providing the different colors.

Yellow and purple kodaimai rice are planted with the local green-leafed tsugaru roman variety according to a computer generated plan to create a complex scene that include warriors, horses, and other animals. Some of the designs are so large that viewers have to go to a high place to fully appreciate them.This crop art began in 1993 in Inakadate, a village of 8,700 people lying 600 miles north of Tokyo, as part of a revitalization project. Hundreds of villagers and volunteers plant the rice in May, covering 15,000 square meters with the rice crop art. The reputation of the village’s handwork has spread and 150,000 visitors came to view their handiwork during the summer as the rice grows and the pictures develop.

The designs range in subject matter. Some mimic Japanese prints like this view of Mt. Fuji.

A sengoku warrior on horseback races through another field…

While Napoleon occupies another field on his rearing steed.

In the town of Yonezawa, the fictional Samurai warrior Naoe Kanetsugu and his wife Osen, from the TV series Tnechijin, can be found.

Animals of various sorts make good subjects for the rice art. Here is a ladybug…

dragon fly…



and a cow.

The most amazing thing to me is how the people can accurately plant the rice in a water covered field.

Each year brings new designs and new visitors. September is the best month to visit when the crop is mature but not yet harvested.

By Karen

2 thoughts on “Japanese Rice Art”
  1. The pictures are unbelievable! The figures on horseback are very intricate.
    I thought at first you were talking about pictures made from rice grains – I am a little slow on the uptake this morning 🙂

    1. Did you ever make pictures with seeds? I think it is the same idea on a grand scale and in water. No wonder they have to use computers to generate the designs. And think of the patience it must take to accomplish this. WOW!


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