Rice Art Displayed on Tablet Screen
Home True GENUINE IMAGES: Crop Art – Rice Fields of Japan

GENUINE IMAGES: Crop Art – Rice Fields of Japan

by Brett M. Christensen

This story was first published on 18th September 2009


Message claims that attached photographs depict giant works of art created by growing different coloured rice plants in Japanese rice fields.

Brief Analysis

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


Subject: Rice art

Stunning crop art has sprung up across rice fields in Japan. But this is no alien creation – the designs have been cleverly planted. Farmers creating the huge displays use 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.

Japan Rice Crop Art 1

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 Toyko, 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.

More than 150,000 vistors come to Inakadate, where just 8,700 people live, every summer 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.

Japan Rice Crop Art 2

Japan Rice Crop Art 3

Japan Rice Crop Art 4

Japan Rice Crop Art 5

Japan Rice Crop Art 6

Detailed Analysis

This set of images circulates via email social media The message that accompanies the images claims that they depict giant living works of art made by the careful planting of different varieties of rice.

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

According to an August 2009 article published on Telegraph.co.uk, the rice field art tradition began in the Japanese village of Inakadate in 1993 but has now spread to other areas of Japan. Villagers and volunteers help plant four varieties of rice that grow in different colours. The farmers use computers to plan their art before planting so that they know exactly where to place the different coloured rice plants in order to create the giant images.
Planting generally takes place in May and the images look their best by September. The article notes:

Each year a different design is on show and more than 15,000 visitors travel to see the creation. Images that have adorned the village fields include a Japanese Sengoku warrior on horseback, a giant frog and a butterfly. Another famous paddy art venue is the city of Yonezawa, in northern Japan, where this year’s design shows fictional 16th-century samurai warrior Naoe Kanetsugu and his wife, Osen.

The farmers create the murals by planting purple and yellow-leafed kodaimai rice along with their local green-leafed tsugaru roman variety.

The following YouTube video provides another view of rice field art:

Creating giant images upon the earth is not unprecedented. The Nazca people of ancient Peru created vast geoglyphs of animals and geometric shapes by scratching lines into the Earth’s surface as did other ancient peoples.

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,