While our nation is busy fighting tooth and nail to build the CWG Stadium in time with crores and crores of money being gobbled by the authorities, I was indeed amazed by an article in the newspapers to see what the Japanese Farmers had achieved way back in 1993 by thinking way ahead of time to create the paddy fields into an art canvas. Truly amazing are the precision, dedication and devotion of these farmers to use computer technology and all thanks to one man’s creativity!
Koichi Hanada, a clerk of Inakadate village hall was requested to increase tourists inflow by his superiors… for months he wondered how to do the impossible in the rural northern part of Japan until one fine day, he saw school children planting rice paddy for their projects. The students had used two varieties of rice paddy – one was dark purplish stalks and the other the usual bright green ones. The canvas was born in Koichi’s head and that is how the Paddy Art was born, which has become a big hit in Japan.
Every single year since 1993, farmers of Inakadate village have created images by using rice paddies as colours and their fields as the big canvas to give Paddy Art a new dimension. From small art form to the latest football ground size depicting Samurai Battling a Warrior Monk, the size of images have been growing steadily since the last 17 years to draw the growing media’s attention and millions of curious tourists. In 2009, as many as 1,70,000 visitors visited the village to see the Living Art Form! Japanese known for its amalgamation of high technology, painstaking perfectionism and one of the most ancient cultures growing rice can only achieve such a feat… truly-truly out-of-this-world!
Unfortunately Inakadate village is facing hard times from its shrinking population, a crushing debt load and declining revenues from agriculture. So far the farmers have failed to accomplish financial benefits from their creativity as visitors who come to Inakadate village don’t spend much to see the Paddy Art… sad and very ironical that such a magnificent art form is being discouraged by the world instead of being encouraged! I wish, farmers of Inakadate will be ultimately recognised for their creative art form and be rewarded to lead a better life in near future!