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Rice Field Art

In what has to be the weirdest creative medium next to the Seed Art Pavilion at the Minnesosta State Fair, Japanese farmers have taken to making large-scale art by planting some of their fields in different strains of rice. The only problem is, in order to even see what the picture is of, you have to look at it from really high above the field.

Fortunately, this one is next to the municipal tower in Gyoda, home of the Gyoda Hasu-en, where you can see acres and acres of lotus in bloom, grown from 2500-year-old seeds.

This is the view from the other side of the tower’s observation deck
These handsome guys…
…are Japan’s top rugby players, who will be competing in the Rugby World Cup in September. The World Cup is in Japan this year, hence the rice portrait worthiness
The fields clocking around to the rugby dude’s right spell out “Reiwa,” which is the name of the new imperial era that just began when the new emperor Naruhito ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne in May of 2019

But planting these suckers is harder than it looks. First of all, no weedy holes. I still can’t figure out how the gardeners and farmers of Japan manage to a) get everything to grow at the same rate/bloom all at once and b) how they manage to get perfect coverage without any bare spots. An easier question to answer is how they make the picture look right from the top of the tower. Like this:

Who knew that farming would require Photoshop skillz?

The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon!

“A fascinating mix of history and mystery.” —Booklist

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Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly newsletter Japanagram, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

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