For this year Inakadate’s crop art, they vote for the images of Daikoku, which is the god of wealth in Japan and Ebisu (god of fishers and merchants) alongside the corporate logo for sponsor Japan Airlines (JAL).
Here are a few photos of the rice paddy taken from the adjacent town hall.
Inakadate Villager started to create paddy art back in 1993 as a local revitalization project. In the first nine years, the town office workers and local farmers grew a simple design of mount Iwaki in Aomori Prefecture every single year, accompanied by the words "Inakadate, a village of rice culture." Those days, they planted rice varieties with different colors of foliage on 2,500 sq. meters of rice paddies plot. After many year experimenting and perfecting the technique a long the way, they begun ventured into a much complex artworks and on much bigger plot.
It's in 2005, that they managed to persuade the landowners to allowed the creation of enormous 15,000 sq meter of rice paddies. With the bigger plot come a huge challenge for sure. The villagers first plotted the art on paper plans and then painstakingly re-created a huge-scale on the ground, with all the detail. To arrange such different variety as to simulate this kind of detail and the "pixel" on this proportion on the paddy plot is not an easy task I assured you. And doint it manually to create that kind of perspetive is nothing sort of awesome.
Its not untill 2006 that they starting using a moderm technology to aide their paddy artwork. I'm quite suprise that they toke so long just to realised that computer could and definetly make one life easier, much much easier on their case. Perhap this is the digital gap between the rural and urban albeit in higly sophisticated Japan. Anyways, thanks to the computers, now they can precisely plot and planting of all the four differently colored rice varieties much faster and easier.
As time went by, the farmers begun experimenting with a complicated illustrations. They not stop on this.This year would constitute as the 16th paddy art and its a first time they ever incorporated some commersial element into the crop. This is to help offset the costs as increased numbers of visitors put a toll on their electricity and water bill. Last year, an astonishig figure, more than 240,000 people came to see the crop art hence many of them using the town hall bathrooms and of course the lifts.
Then somehow, somewhere after the crop begin showing shape of the art, the owner of the rice plot, Ryuji Sato(who happens to be the former mayor of Inakadate and a member paddy art committee) suddently thinks the ad stinks. Later, he demanded the logo be removed from his property.
“The idea has always been to create art that attracts lots of visitors and stimulates the economy,” says Sato. “Turning it into a giant advertisement contradicts what we set out to do.” After a week of heated discussion, the committee voted to pull out the advertisement and then uproot the rice plants that make up the JAL logo.
Wel I think Sato’s word are stinks. What wrong with a relatifly small logo that could generate some money to offset what ever it need to? They already sign the agreement with JAL, not that they are using unauthorized someone ese trademark for sure. Its good to make some money to pay teh bills. what wrong about that? What wrong if it goes commercial, the profit goes to the local people, and it can be channel to local communities, school etc etc. He talks about attractting lots of visitors and stimulates the economy, I must tell to your face Mr Sato san, the people wont distract by the small logo imprint bellow the gigantic awesome paddy art. Never! You talk about economy yet fail miserabily to comprehend the commercial value from the advertisement. How come this man become a mayor I dont know but for sure I know why he fail a bid for second terms, 'cause he suck.really suck