Category Archives: Photos

“Nominsha” custom cars for onion farmers with unique shapes and functions making their ways on Awaji Island, Hyogo Prefecture

Hyogo, Oct. 1 — Awaji Island in Hyogo Prefecture is famous in Japan for its onions, and there on the island, you’ll see a lot of unusual-looking vehicles called farmers’ cars or nominsha in Japanese, custom cars which are built at local iron works by hand-assembling automotive parts and components taken from used automobiles. One of the distinctive features shared by all nominsha vehicles is its extraordinary mobility. This is created by combining extra large tires taken from construction vehicles and engines from used passengers vehicles so that the drivers can go up and down easily across the ridges. No other vehicle can drive directly in the onion fields for … Continue reading

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【Series】 Our Noh no Ikebana : “We enjoy dynamic arrangments under clear autumn sky” says Miyoko Sasaki from Nishiwaga town, Iwate Prefecture (Oct. 6)

“It’s been over 20 years since I began Noh no Ikebana in one of the activities of our local agricultural cooperative. I was so impressed by the works of the senior members that I launched a No no Ikebana Group with my local friends. We exhibit our Ikebana, for example, at local agricultural fairs as well as parties for seniors. We also place our ikebana works at a farmers’ restaurant run by the group. First thing we do is to set the central theme, in many cases considering seasonal events and dishes. We always try to make it dynamic while using tools and materials as simple as possible. The theme … Continue reading

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Country elevator in Futaba town, Fukushima Prefecture, standing still, remain unfilled

The seventh autumn has come since the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant was ravaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011. In Futaba town in Fukushima Prefecture, one of the so-called “difficult-to-return zones,” one country elevator that belongs to a local agricultural cooperative (JA Fukushima Sakura) stands still and silent in a flat land which used to be covered by fertile rice paddies. Before the accident, the autumn was the time to enjoy hearing the sound of combine harvesters and seeing busy farmers bringing newly-harvested rice to the facility with a storage capacity of 2,359 tons. But today, the rice field is covered by weeds and there … Continue reading

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Sun and wind make rice taste even better!

AOMORI, Sept. 21 — Bokake, a traditional method for drying rice, began in one of the rice-producing regions in Hirosaki city, Aomori Prefecture. Bokake, which means hanging rice on a pole in Japanese, is a traditional way for drying rice by hanging them on a pole under the sunlight for two to three weeks. Here at Makanae region in Hirosaki city, farmers set up poles of approximately 2.5 meters and hang approximately 50 bundles of rice around each pole. An 83-year-old farmer, Kikue Jin, her family, and relatives have just finished the work with 150 poles in her rice field. “We’ve been doing this for about 50 years. Sun and … Continue reading

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Wagyu beef feeders compete in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, to win title of best beef in Japan

The 11th National Competitive Exhibition of Wagyu (Japanese beef cattle) was held during five days from September 7th to 11th in Sendai city, Miyagi Prefecture. 513 heads of bulls and cows from 39 prefectures participated in the quinquennial competition, where prefectures compete with pride and confidence in the shapes and the meat quality of their best wagyu. The judges this year gave the grand prize to Kagoshima Prefecture, which is the host of the next national exhibition. The venue also had booths for visitors to try beef from across the country and attracted 417,000 visitors in 5 days.

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