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Rice Photo Gallery III  

Kazuko Tomiyama's 'Rice in Japan' Calendar (2003)

Archetypal landscape of Japan

(Okutsu Town, Okayama Prefecture)

Thatched roofs and a screen of trees around the farmhouses, paddy fields out front and sugi forest on the slopes behind: this is the archetypal landscape of these islands. It is where the heart of the people of Japan dwells. 

Thatching and periodic re-thatching call for the collaboration of people in the village. Thatching gives life to the spirit of cooperation. Despite the hopes of many that this symbol of Japanese culture would endure, the past decade has seen thatched roofs all but disappear from Japan.

Here, at source of the Yoshii River in Okutsu Town, in Okayama Prefecture, the days of this precarious survivor are numbered. In 2004, the Tomata Dam will be completed here.

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