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Beautiful Japanese Rice Paddy Art

The slideshow below features examples of tanbo, a ingenious Japanese style of rice paddy art, popularized by the village of Inakadate.

The tradition began in 1993 when the villagers were looking for ways to boost their economy. The art also has a deep connection to rice harvesting which had taken place on their land for thousands of years.

Over the past two decades, tanbo has become a tourist attraction with over 15,000 visitors per year. The farmers use computers to model the art before setting out to the fields to plant the rice. Four different colors are used over a 15,000sq meter area. The rice is planted in May and realize their full beauty in September.

At the start, the villagers created only a simple image of a mountain. It was only in 2005 that the style became well-known and the rice artists have expanded their work and style to attract more visitors. Other villages, such as Yonezawa, have begun to style their paddies as well.

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