Japanese Art

Japanese Rice Paddy Art

In Inakadate, Aomori Prefecture, Japan, people will grow rice of different types and colors to create unique works of art in the field.

The art of growing rice is a unique Japanese technique. To make masterpieces in the field, farmers need to choose good rice and plant seeds of different colors. This art form originated in 1993 in Inakadate village, Aomori province, as a means to revive the regional economy.

Rice masterpieces were created in two areas of the village. The field covers nearly 1.5 hectares. It is 143 m long AND 103 m wide. Inspirations for creativity are great artwork, characters from Japanese folklore, and images from many popular anime films.

Each year, a different theme will be put forward for people to implement. The motif of 2017 is Japanese fairy tales and legends. In 2018, the art of growing rice was inspired by the scene in the world famous Roman Holiday film in the mid-20th century and the anime work of Japanese manga artist, Tezuka Osamu.

Variety of colorful trees will be prepared to create the ultimate artwork. Rice used is a combination of the standard type and ornamental plants from ancient times. 10 strains of rice will produce 7 colors, including green, yellow, yellow, dark purple, white, orange and red. After deciding on images, rough sketches are made and reviewed from many angles.

Based on the final design, different rice varieties were selected accordingly. Each color area in the image is arranged and aligned properly on the field and proceeds to sow rice. In early summer, mature trees and the work is now complete.

You can see the art of growing rice from about June to October. The ideal time to admire the picture with the most vivid colors is from July to August. Coming to Inakadate, you should also try Aomori’s unique cuisine with many delicious dishes such as Kenoshiru vegetarian soup, Ichogo-ni soup made with sea urchin and abalone, Jappa-Jiru cod fish hotpot, etc.

During the first nine years, the farmers created a simple picture of Mount Iwaki before coming up with more elaborate designs. On average, more than 350,000 people visit Inakadate every year to see the famous rice art. In order for visitors to admire the whole giant art painting, a 22 m high tower was erected nearby.

Kintsugi: Art of Healing Cracks of Life

Nothing is really broken. That is the philosophy behind Japanese Kintsugi art – a craft of healing broken pottery by using excellent gold seams.

Born in the 15th century, Kintsugi is an ancient art form that transforms broken pottery into masterpieces revived from gold, embodying a philosophy of life that drives people to appreciate mistakes and imperfections in life.

In Japanese, the word Kintsugi means “healing gold”. Broken pottery will be welded with a lacquer and precious metal, namely gold, silver or platinum. Looking at the art of Kintsugi, one can immediately see its transformative power. The fragments of a vase will be artfully connected with luxurious gold rim.

Although the original shape of the vase had been lost forever through the alchemy of Kintsugi, the beauty of the vase not only continued to exist, but also grew stronger. Kintsugi also has a profound philosophical significance of focusing on the beauty and hidden power of life.

As a mentor for 20 years, Spanish psychologist Tomas Navarro witnessed so many people feel shattered after each trauma and psychological shock. He considers Kintsugi to help people heal psychological trauma, rebuild their lives and become stronger. He wants everyone to apply the Kintsugi art philosophy in everyday life.

Kintsugi art also has an Eastern and Western philosophy: If such astonishing beauty can emerge from the fragments of the vase, a similar transformation can occur with human.

Each crack is a different story. The pottery products are more beautiful and more precious because of the broken fragments. The broken items after being assembled are not only more durable but also more beautiful than the original and become a top work of art, a symbol of fragility, strength and beauty. Grooves are not something to hide, the art value of the item does not diminish when worn on those patches.

The Kintsugi art shows us that no one is perfect in this life, but the scars of life can make us shine like bowls made of gold powder.