Summer is now in full swing which means it’s Tanbo season in Japan. Last year we shared some amazing examples of Tanbo art (田んぼアート) or “rice paddy art”, created by Japanese farmers (aided by lots of volunteers) who work by hand to plant different strains of rice in order to transform their rice paddies into colossal living canvases. No artificial coloring methods are used to create these awesome scenes. Each color is simply a different type of rice.
"While planting, different areas of the rice paddy are roped off, so people know which type of rice to put where—kind of like painting by numbers.
Rice is planted in the spring, and then harvested in the fall. When it gets close to harvest, the color changes to a beautiful hue called “koganeiro” (黄金色), which is often translated as “golden” or “honey-colored”. This means the art changes as the seasons change.”
The rice paddies pictured at the top of this post depict a celestial maiden from the Japanese legend of Hagoromo beside Mount Fuji, which was recently recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
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