Monday, June 23, 2008

6/25/08 Ricefall

It's rice planting time in Ashikaga. Each little square of land or two has its very own hunched-over caretaker toiling away. They seem almost identical, with their wide brimmed hats and tall rubber boots.

Clumps of bright green little plants arrive from someplace unseen, which are then plugged into the mushy earth by hand, one by one in long rows.

A single soul sloshing around not a block from my apartment.

A significant percentage of the open space in town has been converted into marshland almost overnight. The smell is much like you'd expect from the swamp. The frogs join a deafening chorus at nightfall.


  1. Interesting. I thought the rice was all planted by machines now?

  2. Its funny you mention that. I also assumed that they would use machines, but just a day or two ago I'm certain I saw someone bent over and planting the things. Could be they were just tidying up or something, I'm not really sure. Many of these plots are smaller than my backyard, though, so it may be that its not cost effective for them to buy heavy equipment. A mystery indeed.