I have a reoccuring dilemma when my Japanese friends ask me what America is like. America. Well, America is so large and I've only lived in a couple places. I can only answer what Los Angeles is like, or how people in Los Angles do things. In the same way, I see things in Japan that I think are different, but for all I know, in someplaces in Europe or elsewhere, they may do things the same way. Anyway, I post pictures and give opinions about things that are interesting to me though I don't know about anyone else. Today I'm showing pictures of rice planting and I've surely never seen it done this way in California!
As previously mentioned, rice planting was carried out over Golden Week in this part of Japan and almost all the rice fields have been planted. On one of my walks with Choco I took the camera with me and got some pictures of the process. (Took them slightly on the sly because the farmers seemed too busy for me to ask them to "pose".)
The rice shoots are brought out from the farmers' green houses where the sprouts have been nurtured and they are laid out along the banks in little mats ready to be fed into the planting tractor. Horrors! Choco stepped in one while I was taking a picture, but the sprouts sprung back unhurt. I think the mats are spread along the banks so that the tractor can pick up new ones on their return trip across the fields.
On either side of the tractor the mats are set up within easy reach and the farmer slides them into the back rack where some part of the machine pulls off a couple shoots and plops them at regular intervals in the flooded field. Up and down the tractor goes planting the shoots in straight lines until the whole field resembles a light green lawn that's been overwatered. In a couple of weeks you won't even be able to see the water!
At the turns in the field, and right next to the banks, it looks like the tractor can't get in that close so often the farmer's wife or children will be hand planting the shoots. I remember when my kids were in elementary school there was a day when they had a chance to plant a nearby rice field by hand. They took rain boots and waded in the field (and fell in, and got very muddy!) and when autumn came the rice was used in the school lunch (one or two meals) and each child got to take a small bag of rice home.
This really did start out being a patchwork and quilting blog. I thought I was just going to keep track of what I was making, but look at where I've ended up. A commentary on Japanese life! Well, I suppose that is interesting sometimes. I'll just have to be more productive in my sewing!