Case Studies

Soma, Fukushima Prefecture

Soma Tanbo Art Project

Rice Paddy Art as the Reconstruction Support and Interact with Locals through Many Events

  • Sights

Soma, hit heavily by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami in2011, started rice farming again in 2014 once the destruction of the irrigation canal and salt damage had been fixed. Volunteers then gathered from inside and outside the region to cooperate and start making rice paddy art with their hope to make it “a symbol of revival.” Every year their design features a horse while changing the design, as Soma is famous for “Soma Nomaoi” about a 500 strong cavalry.
They organize a group tour there from Tokyo for both the spring planting event and the autumn harvesting event. These tours offer the participants experiences such as workshops to learn rice farming and rice harvesting as well as the BBQ party which makes this event unique: “edible rice paddy art.” They also sell the harvested rice and produce the local craft beer made from rice exclusively at the spring planting event. They encourage everyone to feel that they are “supporting this reconstruction by eating and tasting” from various perspectives, not just to restructure the place itself. For only one night in summer, they hold “the light festival” which features projection art that a horse is running in the rice paddies. In addition to various events, they are also organizing crowd funding to expand their support more, making expectations higher for the fifth year.

Soma Tanbo Art Project

Access

Iwako Kitainada 150, Soma, Fukushima Prefecture
Contact
http://somatamboart.org