Fall is a harvest season, and festivals to celebrate it are taking place all over the world. In northern Japan, the Wara Art Festival recently took place in the rice season from September to October, and it’s a very inventive and fun way to reuse the rice straw left by the harvest.
Wara Art Festival has been held in Niigata since 2008, where it began as a creative collaboration between the city’s tourism division and Musashino Art University. Rice straw was once widely used in Japan to produce various products, such as tatami mats, but has now been replaced by wood and plastic in most cases. The Musashino students worked together to fill the Niigata fields with giant rice straw animal sculptures, and since they do so every year.