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They’ve got nothin’ on this Japanese rice field art.

Anyone else have a poster on their wall in college that was suspiciously similar?

“Mona Riza” has got to be my favorite of the bunch.

If you happen to read Japanese, you’ll find more info about these mysterious crop patterns here.

Art + Design


About The Author

Eva Holland

Eva Holland is a freelance writer, Senior Editor of World Hum and a longtime contributor to the Matador community. She lives in Canada’s Yukon Territory and blogs about Alaska and Yukon travel at Travelers North.

  • Jacquie_Kubin

    Wow — these are great. Thank you for sharing these Eva. I shall try to find out other information on these rice patterns.

  • Ron

    Very nice. Why do they do this I wonder? What kinds of rice are purple and yellow?

  • add


  • Best credit card off

    how did they do that? thats nuts.

  • WR

    Same field every time? (Same houses, same road). So this was done over several weeks, months, years? Rather looks like a Photoshop job to me…

  • APH

    they're obviously not photoshopped, and not all are in the same field

  • ado

    i call photoshop

  • ZS

    The ground level shot kind of debunks any photoshop theories

  • JIm Jones

    Absolutely. Photoshop or PaintShopPro all the way. But nice though. Gotta give credit where credit is due. http://www.FireMe.To/udi

  • Jereme

    These definitely are at all the same location, with the same houses, etc… However, I can't see an reason to believe Photoshop is involved. These are probably over a span of a few years at least. It's probably something annual or semi annual for a festival of some sort.

  • martbhell

    hi from Digg :)

  • John Doe

    Haven't you notice that is the same background over and over again with thouse images photoshoped there???!!!!! so fckn fake!

  • no one

    of course it's the same field in each picture. Look at the buildings on the left and above, and the road on the right, and the little white bridge over the ditch on the left. Same spot in every picture. They were either taken over a series of seasons, or they are fake. Interestingly, my uncle once tried to do something similar in Canada, but not very many companies wanted to pay for aerial advertising. Sorry, but I don't have pictures.

  • not 'shopped

    GROUND FIELD SHOT at the bottom. they use different kinds of rice – pictures of the images developing as the rice grows ” target=”_blank”>… they only last until harvest, and they do different images every season (so yes, over the years)

  • TMR

    They aren't fake. They change annually because they aren't technically crop circles. Crop circles require breaking stalks of wheat or corn via a large board. These are done by planting different colored crops. After they harvest the crops, they plant a new design each year. Quit being so naive.

  • christoff

    Any chance we can get larger versions or raw copies of these photos?

  • Bob

    Its legit. Just because youre a skeptic doesnt make you cooler at all. In fact, it makes you look really really DUMB. OUCH. How does it feel to believe information based on gut feeling and not on facts? All you think you are so great, but you are in the end no different than the people 700 years ago that believed the world was flat just because they 'thought so'. So from next time, please judge legitimacy by thought, not by feeling, like all you emotional and shallow people.

  • pos

    Wow. I wonder what kind of Web 2.0 companies they have over there, if they can do this.

  • barasawa

    If you examine the photos, you will notice that they are NOT the same. There are many differences that would be fully expected by photos over time. The weather and clouds change. So does the foliage, signage, and many others. That of course doesn't mean it's not a photoshop job, but lets face it, with those kinds of differences, it would be easier to plant the actual field pics. I believe these are real photos. Besides, that kind of thing is something Japanese communities are known for.

  • md forte

    Nice, given the fact that Japan doesn't have much free space to do large crop circles and the art is not imitated from others it their own.

  • aisforanarchy

    If you dumb fucks pay attention, you would notice that it is not photoshop. The background is the same because it was the same farm, but there are slight differences each time, and the pictures were taken from different angles. How about you think before you call "photoshop"? I'm sick of people calling photoshop just because they can't concieve in their little brains that they aren't just seeing something new.

  • Michigan Seo

    Frankly, I don't see how you can say it's photoshop. And they're not trying to pass it off as aliens like the dumb americans.

  • Tyler

    Each year, farmers in the town of Inakadate in Aomori prefecture create works of crop art by growing a little purple and yellow-leafed kodaimai rice along with their local green-leafed tsugaru-roman variety. ” target=”_blank”>…

  • MMD

    Friggin amazing :) Grow in patterns as I could tell from the one-before-last photo.

  • 3e321d

    these are all the same field i call photoshop

  • geotraveler

    Way cool!

  • backlink

    These are very cool indeed!

  • helix

    hey I'm from Ottawa too and I think I've read some of your articles. I really enjoy them!

  • Gigi Bach

    These rice fields are under threat at the moment since the association responsible for them started adding corporate sponsorship without the approval of land owners. The field owners are not happy and have ordered some of the fields immediately harvested to remove the offending corporate material. Good while they lasted I guess. Either way, more odd, funny, random japanese stuff here: hope you enjoy ” target=”_blank”>…

  • vaguesan

    They are clearly not photoshopped. I live in japan and actually have seen them in person. They do different ones each year. They were also featured on Japanese tv. The writing says cultural town, inakadate. heres a link for you idiots:,_Aomori

  • Blah

    They are so all in the same field, moron.

  • nunya

    these are great works of art but the "writer" chooses to make fun of how people talk… mona risa?? real professional. stay classy.

  • chupalover

    Same field – no doubt

  • Eva

    Hi Nunya, Actually if you look at the website they came from, that's what the file is saved as. I didn't name it, the Japanese site creators did. I'm not actually sure if it's a play on a stereotypical accent, or a reference to the fact that this Mona Lisa is made with RICE. Thanks for your comment.

  • Eva

    Hi Nunya, Actually, if you look at the original site, that's what the photo file is saved as. I didn't name it, the Japanese site creators did. Besides, I'm not actually sure whether it's a reference to a stereotypical accent or to the fact that this Mona Lisa is made of RICE…. Thanks for your comment.

  • Nerdini

    While I am also sure this is not photo-shopped, I have an alternate solution to the fact that it would take 8 or 9 years or growing seasins to accumulate this many different images–plus the fact that I have never heard of black rice. Some of my father's family were rice growers, and like most grain crops in countries that have both winter and summer the growing season is one year If you look at the low level shot, you will notice that not only is the rice black, but so is the ground around it. This makes me think that rather than growing colored rice, they simply spray the area with a water soluble food dye, or paint. The picture would only last until the next rain and/or flooding of the field. Then they would lay down a new design probably using pesticide spraying equipment that they already have as a part of the growing process. This would allow them to do a bunch of designs in one season rather than only one. While I am only guessing, to me this is a more plausible explanation than growing colored rice and only being able to do one disign per growing season.

  • collazoprojects

    Hi, Nerdini- Yes, there is such a thing as black rice. In fact, black Japonica rice is delicious and has a totally different flavor compared to white rice. There are also many other kinds and colors of rice, though they can be hard to find in the US. Shopping in my favorite store in NYC recently, I was surprised to find green rice… and it's not dyed.

  • Ostdenis
  • johnbb

    This is amazing how the image appears as the crops grow over the days! ” target=”_blank”>…

  • maz

    Nicely photoshopped, a simple yet humorous outcome, very well done 10/10

  • Jarred

    Go visit the wikipedia website that vaguesan gave. To those who claimed the fields are photoshopped, you guys look so foolish.

  • Helen

    This is a photo I took of the top one. ” target=”_blank”>… And the one second from the top, with the two demons raijin and fujin? I helped harvest that and I ate the rice from it. This is like thirty minutes from where I live. And the ground is black around the black rice because it grows in mud. Which is black. So yeah. Not photoshopped lol

  • Stephen

    No this isnt photo shopped, these are taken in Inakadate, Aomori Japan. I have seen the top and 2nd from the top over the last two years. They do this every year with different coloured rice to make a design.

  • Michael

    I can't beleive how people still say these are photoshopped. you're all morons. i strongly suggest you read up on the many web links here and read a few of the comments of people who have seen this in real life. anyway.. totally amazing art!

  • Online Advertising

    I agree with you Mona Riza is extremely cool. Great Post!

  • Mark

    See this famous castle image in rice! It's real! See the diagrams, the layout, the results! ” target=”_blank”>…

  • Recruiting Services

    Photoshopped or not, its pretty cool

  • chancey

    To those who still think it's photoshopped that out. A news report from Japan on this and a ground level shot. theres a few other vids on youtube too.

  • the flail

    photoshop callers got PWND

  • twotechs

    its goddamn rice

  • Skindex

    I guess little asians have a bunch of free time on their hands while America’s economy is going down the drain. All in all cool pics!

  • Krishnadas Menon

    These are not photoshop works. I have seen it with my own eyes when I visited Japan.

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