Rice Paddy Art

First of all let me say that I did not take any of these images, they were sent to me. As far as I am aware there is no breach of copyright

Let’s begin……In the UK we have the mysterious crop circles, in Japan they have rice paddy art

As normal the rice paddies are planted but there is slight difference which will be revealed later

From the ground it’s not obvious what’s about to happen but an aerial view shows something different. You can just see the outline of the artistic image

As time goes on the image becomes more visible

As the summer progresses more of the image is revealed

So how is it done?  Well the farmers who create these huge displays use no ink or dye. Instead different  colour rice plants are used. They are precisely and strategically arranged in the paddy fields.

From ground level the images are not so obvious, so farmers have constructed viewing platforms to show off their art and offices nearby will let you have a look from their higher floors. It’s only when you het closer can you see the different coloured rice plants.

Rice Paddy art was started in 1993 as a local revitalisation project. It sprang from meetings of village committees. In the first nine years the village office workers and local farmers grew a simple design of Mount Iwaki very year. But their ideas grew more complicated and started to attract more attention. In 2005, agreements between landowners allowed the creation of enormous Rice Paddy art. A year later, organisers used computers to precisely plot planting of the four differently coloured rice varieties that bring the images to life. 

A Sengoku warrior on horseback.


Fictional warrior Naoe Kanetsugu and his wife, Osen whose lives are featured on the television series Tenchijin.

This year, various artwork has popped up in other rice-farming areas of Japan, including designs of deer dancers.

The farmers create the murals by planting little purple and yellow leafed Kodaimi rice along with their local green leafed Tsugaru, a Roman variety, to create the coloured patterns in the time between planting and harvesting in September.