Category Archives: Photos

Have you eaten your chopsticks once you’re done with meals?

YASHIRO, Oct. 28 ― You can eat disposable chopsticks once you’re done with meals. Farmers in Yashiro, Kumamoto prefecture have developed their rush, called igusa, the primary material in tatami, into pairs of “tatami-flavored” edible chopsticks. A tatami is a type of mat used as a flooring material in traditional Japanese-style rooms. The chopsticks are made from flour, sugar, eggs and igusa powder, which gives you a crunchy texture. A pack of five pairs of chopsticks are 1,930 yen and now available online. The Yashiro farmers now hope to promote their locally grown rush at a time its demand for tatami rooms has been declining in Japan.

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[Our Noh no Ikebana] “I’d like to celebrate the coming of the autumn,” says Michiko Sekimori, 70, from Chofu, Tokyo

“I’ve been enjoying Noh no Ikebana for almost 13 years. One day, I saw the arrangements of the No-no-ikebana group in Tokyo at a gathering among female farmers in Tachikawa, Tokyo, and thought I want to do it myself. “Look, you are going to be a star. Let’s have fun on the stage together.” I always talk to the flowers and materials silently while I make arrangements. The theme of this arrangement I created this October is “Fall finally came!” It’s been a very hot summer, so I used Japanese silver grass and persimmons to express my happiness to welcome the autumn. I would like you to pay extra attention … Continue reading

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“Honnyo” stands in rice fields as symbol of rice growing culture in Kurihara City, Miyagi Prefecture

It’s believed that the name “Honnyo” has come from “honio,” the name of the method of stacking freshly-harvested rice plants, or from “honioh” from the shape that looks like a temple guardian. To make Honnyo, you assemble four bunches of the rice plants in the shape of a cross and hung them around a cedar pole of two to three meters long which stands in the rice fields. Usually, you can place around 30 of them per 10 are. Farmers in Nagasaki region do it a little differently, by making triangles with the rice plants and assemble them on the pole in an angle so that the tips of the … Continue reading

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Young Japanese farmer creates icosahedron with rice bundles

FUKUSHIMA, Oct. 21 ― Autumn is the season when rice is hung to dry. So Naoshi Tsuchiya used golden rice bundles to create an icosahedron, like a giant soccer ball, in the rice paddy fields. “Bundles of rice stalks hung out to dry is a symbol of co-existence between humans and rice,” says the 34-year old Japanese rice farmer. Tsuchiya manages 18 hectares of rice paddy fields. A harvested rice field at the end of growing season is symbolically centered in Inawashiro, Fukushima prefecture. Tsuchiya stresses that rice to be hung to dry is a unique cultural scenery in rural areas in Japan and said with a big smile, “I … Continue reading

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[Our Noh no Ikebana] “I love looking at plants swaying in the breeze,” says Setsuko Tanakadate, 71, from Yahaba town, Iwate Prefecture (October 16, 2018)

“It’s been nearly 30 years since I started Noh no Ikebana. We can find materials at home and our vegetable gardens and arrange them freely regardless of schools or styles, and that’s why I’m doing it for such a long time with friends from a local Noh no Ikebana club. When we participate in prefecture exhibitions or local events, we share the materials and tools. Showing the arrangements with each other is fun. I always place importance on the sense of seasons. I enjoy using dead plants as well, in addition to fresh vegetables and plants. This way, I can express the passing of the seasons. Dried hydrangea is one … Continue reading

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