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Rice field art

Rice field artStunning crop art has sprung up across rice fields in Japan. But it certainly isn't an alien creation - the designs have been cleverly planted. Farmers have created the huge displays using no ink or dye. Instead, different colours of rice plants have been precisely and strategically arranged and grown in the paddy fields. As summer progresses and the plants shoot up, the detailed artwork begins to emerge.

A Sengoku warrior on horseback has been created from hundreds of thousands of rice plants, the colours created by using different varieties, in Inakadate in Japan. The largest and finest work is grown in the Aomori village of Inakadate, 600 miles north of Tokyo, where the tradition began in 1993. The village has now earned a reputation for its agricultural artistry and this year the enormous pictures of Napoleon and a Sengoku-period warrior, both on horseback, are visible in a pair of fields adjacent to the town hall.

Every summer more than 150,000 visitors come to Inakadate, where just 8,700 people live, to see the extraordinary murals. Each year hundreds of volunteers and villagers plant four different varieties of rice in late May across huge swathes of paddy fields.

Although the image may look as if they have been digitally created in an image manipulation program, it is in fact genuine and are indeed created from rice plants as described.

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