Category Archives: Photos

【Series】 Our No no Ikebana:“I use ripe agricultural products to express joys in late summer,” says Tokiko Shimizu from Ibaraki city, Ibaraki Prefecture (Sep. 1)

Tokiko Shimizu, 75, from Ibaraki city, Ibaraki Prefecture, talked about the fun of No no Ikebana. “Overgrown vegetables are often thrown away, but with No no Ikebana, they can be excellent materials. I sometimes remove the leaves or hold them upside down to think about how I can arrange them. I enjoy doing so very much. I usually make my arrangement with seasonal agricultural products and flowers from my farmland and garden and put it in the entrance hall. As containers, I often chose thing like a wooden well bucket. They often catch the attention of my visitors and give us a fun topic to talk about. Some people said … Continue reading

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Sumibon newly-styled bonsai art becoming hot fresh local specialty in Nagano Prefecture

NAGANO, Aug. 29 ─ A new type of bonsai produced by a youth dispatched to a local government in Nagano Prefecture through a program called “the local community development caravan” is now gathering attention for its potential of becoming a new local specialty. The producer of the new form of bonsai art, called sumibon in Japanese, is Tomonobu Asano, 35. Currently, he works in Nobushina, Nagano Prefecture, mainly to make better use of idle lands. Asano, who started to help the region in June last year, learned one day that an 82-year-old local rice farmer, Chikao Sekiguchi, makes charcoal on his own and enjoys sumibon as his hobby. Then, the … Continue reading

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Sumibon newly-styled bonsai art becoming hot fresh local specialty in Nagano Prefecture

A new type of bonsai produced by a youth dispatched to a local government in Nagano Prefecture through a program called “the local community development caravan” is now gathering attention for its potential of becoming a new local specialty. The producer of the new form of bonsai art, called sumibon in Japanese, is Tomonobu Asano, 35. Currently, he works in Nobushina, Nagano Prefecture, mainly to make better use of idle lands. Asano, who started to help the region in June last year, learned one day that an 82-year-old local rice farmer, Chikao Sekiguchi, makes charcoal on his own and enjoys sumibon as his hobby. Then, the two men worked together … Continue reading

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Witnesses to war kept in rice fields

CHIBA, Aug. 15 — In a farmland in Sosa city, Chiba Prefecture, there still are reinforced concrete bomb shelters, called entaigo in Japanese, built in wartime to protect battle plains from air raids. Two entaigo sit in a rice field owned by Hatsuko Shinamura, a 73-year-old farmer from Asahi city. During the war, the navy took up the land to build Katori Air Base and the concrete domes that measure 30 meters in width and 6 meters in height. One entaigo could shelter three warplanes with their wings folded. After the war, the navy returned the land to Shinamura who then decided to use them as their family storages. Since … Continue reading

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【Series】 Our No no Ikebana:“Large tools can make your arrangement dramatic,” says Hiroyo Yahiro from Chikushino city, Fukuoka Prefecture(Aug. 4)

Today, let’s hear from Hiroyo Yahiro, 69, from Chikushino city, Fukuoka Prefecture, about how she enjoys No no Ikebana “I got to know about No no Ikebana in 1999 through my friend. In 2007, the Women’s Group of JA Chikushi, an agricultural cooperative in Fukuoka Prefecture, decided to have a local No no Ikebana group, which is now run by seven members to present arrangements mainly for JA events and meetings, maybe eight times a year. With my arrangement, I always treasure the season we are in now. I do so by using agricultural products, plants and flowers of the season and focusing on seasonal events like a girls’ festival … Continue reading

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