Summer in Japan means festivals, fireworks and a host of annual events designed to bring people together despite the searing heat. And as the sun beats down on fields across the nation, there’s one special rice paddy that’s slowly taking shape, transforming into a very unique piece of art ready to greet crowds of adoring admirers over the next two months.

Rice paddy art has been growing in popularity over the years, with community group members using different strains of rice to create a variety of impressive designs.



In Hokkaido, the Japan Agricultural Cooperatives (JA) Kitasorachi-Uryu Youth Group has been working on a very special collaboration to celebrate the release of the Hollywood movie Ted 2. The film’s opening date, August 28, coincides with the height of the rice-growing season in Japan, so it’s the perfect way to generate some publicity for the movie and their town as well.


The group began planting their design in June. In July, the fresh, young seedlings will bring out a very green Ted, while in August, as the crops ripen, the talking teddy bear will slowly take on his signature straw-brown colour.


In September, Ted will be harvested to feed the people in the region. Before then, he’ll be entertaining the many crowds who come to pay him a visit. We wonder what Ted would have to say to them all if given the chance!


Meanwhile, in Inakadate, Aomori Prefecture, they’ll be using two huge rice fields to celebrating two other famous international films: Star Wars and Gone With the Wind.


Inakadate has become so well-known for their spectacular annual tanbo art (rice field art) displays that they even built a brand-new train station called “Rice Paddy Art Station” in 2013 to accommodate visitors to the area.


The massive scale of these projects and the teamwork behind them is a testament to the communities that keep these fields of art growing year after year. We hope Ted’s creators in Hokkaido get a special visit from the movie star himself in August. If we spot him by the rice field admiring himself, we’ll be sure to let you know!

Source: Hamusoku
Images: Ted Movie Facebook,  JA Kitasorachi-Uryū Youth Group Blog, Tanbo Art Village Inakadate Facebook