Real-life Farmville! Rice harvesting @Ugo town

By Yili Wong (from : Malaysia) on 10月. 26, 2016

By Yili Wong (from : Malaysia) on 10月. 26, 2016

Let's play Farmville on a REAL FARM!!!

Late summer or early fall is the time for new rice (新米, shin-mai), which means it's the rice harvest season. Akita prefecture in Tohoku region, ranks top 3 in crop production in Japan. Locals at the countryside areas, like in Ugo town, most of them still practice rice cultivation from the past. Modern technology had been replacing the traditional method to harvest rice, for the purpose of time and labour saving. But we were lucky enough to have a hands-on rice harvesting experience using a sickle!

Finished equipping ourselves with long boots (be well prepared for 'mud war'!) and hand gloves, off to the golden yellow paddy fields! Stunning, endless sea of gold yellow in this early autumn! (and of green during summer!) Definitely a perfect landscape for nature lovers, like ME!!!

 

Some of us got tied like a 'straw skirt' at the back. (I know you guys might be having some images of Lilo and Stitch in that Hula skirts! haha!) No we weren't dancing in the muddy field. (in fact we had difficulty even in moving a few steps, so forget about dancing) That straws served to tie up a few bundles of rice stalks after cutting them with the sickle. So bundle by bundle, the rice stalks were arranged on a rack to dry up for 2 to 3 weeks (depends on the weather) before the grains are separated.

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I managed to yield a few bundles of rice stalks though most of my time spent on struggling in the mud! Yes it was a tough and tiring work, imagine back in the old days when there was no machine yet, people had to bend over the whole day to harvest the rice, just to yield a bagful of rice grains. There's one Chinese saying that goes "A grain of rice is a drop of sweat". Do empty your bowl of rice is to be not wasteful, and to respect and appreciate the hardship of rice farmers!

《悯农》李绅

锄禾日当午,

汗滴禾下土。

谁知盘中餐,

粒粒皆辛苦。

终于体会到农民们的辛苦了!小编的下田初体验就献给了羽后町的乡老了!

秋田县是日本前三稻谷盛产之地。恰巧十月正逢稻米收割的季节,小编就随着乡老到稻田去收‘新米’去!虽然现代的收割都已机械代劳,但这次能亲身体验用镰刀收割稻米!可谓非一般的体验啊!弯着腰、铲了几刀、在泥沼里寸步难行、就只割了那几束 唉~(叹气声连连~~)但,看着这一大片一望无际、黄澄澄的稻田,美景在眼里,这一点辛苦算得了什么呢~

辛苦了农民们!下次都得把碗盘中的米饭都吃个精光,一粒都不剩!

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What might seem like common practice and everyday values to local Japanese people can be new and attractive treasures through the eyes of people from different countries and cultures! There are so many unknown and enticing treasures just waiting to be discovered in Tohoku – come and find them!