Sunday, October 06, 2013

Autumn is harvesting time in Iwate!

Here in Iwate Autumn is well and truly upon us and as the weather cools and within a month will be quite chilly, the rice fields are saying goodbye to the crop that has been growing in them for a while now. I wanted to share some photos of the local area, most are around Senmaya and Kawasaki - there are MANY Kawasakis in Japan by the way, this is obviously the one in Iwate! 
The rice is harvested, by machine or hand, and then hung up to dry out on wooden structures with wires connecting them as you see below and above here.

The countryside is perhaps at its most beautiful right now, and flowers are still blooming which is nice because as the winter approaches the greens, reds, yellows pinks and blues will all be traded in for the white of snow. It's interesting living in such a rural community. Actually when I think about it this is a very organised rural community. That is why we will see in October and November many festivals - because everyone harvests at the same time (because it's the right time to harvest) and the end of the harvest is the reason that most of these local festivals began in the first place.

You can see below some farmers employ a different technique for drying out the rice. The rice spirls up a wooden pole, again guided by wires and sticks. We see rice everywhere in this area, it's easily the primary crop. The interesting thing to remember - Japan still imports a lot of rice!

So this is a little look into the pulse of the local community around Ichinoseki - an area which covers a hell of a lot of towns. Can I understand the life of a farmer in Iwate? No that still escapes me somewhat. But I do appreciate the order and planning which goes into it all. This area is something of a bread basket. What they lack in cattle they make up for in staples. I hope you enjoy these pictures!

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