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Rice Photo Gallery III  

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

Echigo Plain

(Iwamuro Village, Niigata Prefecture)

The sight of heavy, drooping ears of rice is enough to make you smile. It makes you want to thank heaven for the bounty of the earth.

Incredibly coded in out genes, inscribed in our hearts and minds, this appreciation runs in the blood of the Japanese. The monk Ryokan came from the flood plain by the Shimano River. It was a low-lying land where tears followed in the wake of floods. 

In the Showa Period, efficient drainage made the area the granary it has become today. Rather than the instability that good and bad harvests bring, why can't the government make it so that the people who grow and the people who eat can unreservedly share their delight in abundant crops without a care for fluctuating prices?

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