In the village of Inakadate in the northern Aomori Prefecture in Japan, locals hold their annual giant rice paddy art made from colorful rice shoots to honor the 2,000-year old rice cultivation of the prefecture, as well as to letting people know more about rice agriculture. With only a population of 8,000, the village has attracted over 200,000 foreign and domestic tourists worldwide for its yearly artistry.
The Tanbo Art, which means "rice paddy art," started in 1993 when the village mayor wanted to entice visitors in the area. And since the primary competent produce the community is rice, the locals make use of what they know and what they're good at.
The village's tourism and planning division told BBC News that an employee saw the illustrations of an elementary school rice paddy with colors yellow, purple and green as their rice formed in a striped pattern. Afterward, the locals made do about it and created a tower at the village office for visitors to see the art.
In 1993 to 2002, the villagers only created the image of Mount Iwaki--but it was during the following years that they started making more intricate designs. The first elaborate image they have created was a portrait Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa."
From 2004 to 2012, they have created depictions coming from different Japanese paintings like printmaker- painter Shikō Munakata and Tawaraya Sōtatsu for their Two Bodhisattvas and Ten Great Disciples of Shakamuni Buddha, and Fujin and Raijin artworks.
By 2013, popular culture dominated the rice paddy art -- villagers created designs like Ultraman, a geisha, and Marilyn Monroe. Famous Western movies were done the year after with inspirations coming from "Gone With the Wind" and "Star Wars." Last year, the people worked on a Godzilla design.
This year, people can only speculate what the village has to offer. The creation of the rice paddy art starts from June up to September, and anyone can join in the turning the fields as pieces of art.
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