Rice planting festival

© Dr.Yasunobu Funakoshi

Dr.Yasunobu Funakoshi, Project Leader of the Technology Licensing Organization at the Tokyo University of Science, recently sent ResearchSEA these wonderful pictures of the Japanese rice planting festival.

Due to seasonal differences in temperature the rice planting festival takes place at slightly different times across Japan, but typically rice is planted between May and June. These pictures show children and their parents coming to the park to plant rice in the paddy fields – not to mention to play with the mud, which is clearly the main attraction for some of these youngsters!

Rice planting and playing in the mud

© Dr.Yasunobu Funakoshi

Seedlings have been pre-sown in a greenhouse before they are transplanted to the paddy fields on this warm fine Sunday in May. In order to prepare the paddy fields, furrows are dug to create a channel for the rice to grow in while allowing access via footpaths on higher ground. The rice needs to be buried in a thin layer of water and much time is spent levelling out the soil levels to produce even fields. Logs are pulled along to flatten the mud as shown below. We can’t think of a better way to spend the weekend!

Flattening the paddy fields out with logs

Flattening the paddy fields out with logs © Dr.Yasunobu Funakoshi

With many thanks to Dr.Yasunobu Funakoshi for letting us use these pictures