Monday, September 25, 2006

Harvesting Rice in Japan

Here, north Japan is season to work on rice cultivation. Since my grandfather has several rice fields, my family helped him to cultivate rice. This is from my window.

Most of works are done by machines in modern Japan. Combine below is a machine which unites reaping and threshing at the same time.

The machine gathers and cut rice plants, and separate rice and stems automatically.

After rice is reaped, rice need to be dried by drying machine. The machine dries rice slowly taking 12-24 hours.

It takes about 2 hours per a rice field in my family’s case. Here is an example progress of work. You can see sky is getting dark as time goes.

It took 2 days to finish reaping rice. I am not sure how much tons rice we harvest, but it was a LOT. One bag of rice has 40-50 kg. My father and I especially had to carry this bags many times. It is ok for man to carry the bags, but was terrible physical labor for me... This is my mother and father.

Since the combine was broken a few times, I devoted my energies to take photos to kill time, and these are my results.

This is a movie of harvesting rice. Never mind with quality. I used my 2-year old compact camera.


Pierre-Yann said...

Very impressives photos!
The two are very nice, but the one with the grasshopper is a very good macro picture. Did you take it with your compact camera. Did you put some specific parameter for having this very short depth of field?

Pierre-Yann said...

By the way, are these recent photos? (the EXIF data are missing)
I don't know season time of rice.

Kuntry Konfession said...

very good images kanyanon!

Piccola said...

nice pictures :)

kayanon said...


Thanks! Yes, I took photos with my compact camera. I didn't use any specific functions. I just went close to the grasshoper. It was only 10 cm between us.

I took this photos yesterday. I will write about these later!

kayanon said...


Thanks! Yesterday was good day for taking photos.


I will put other photos soon!

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Anonymous said...

Nice story and pretty pictures! They are looking brilliant. Its really interesting how to harvest rice!

soursop said...

thanks a lot for sharing, kayanon! i really like all your photos! it's amazing to see the harvesting in process... i can tell your living place is so rich and peaceful!

Kuntry Konfession said...

i've been checkin up on your rice post...too amazing! my grandparents still does the old skool green house, no machines....and it's amazing how they manage the acres they have to cover....but now factories are popping everywhere, and the rice workers are quitting to work there. (better money and less back breaking works!)-unfortunately, these factories too put their polluted run offs to the water...which runs to some rice fields making the land useless and ugly.....
it's refreshing to see that your grandparents are doing well....i'd like to go home one day, before it's too late and help me grandparents...
thanks for sharing.

Pierre-Yann said...

Harvesting rice is very similar to corn, I think. Approximatly same time, similar machine, just a different scale factor (at least x5)!

But rice fields are a lot nicer than corn fields, much like wheat fields.

kayanon said...


Thanks, fabi! im glad that you are interested in harvesting rice.


Thanks! I took many many photos this time. I will update others soon on flickr!

kayanon said...


In old time, people cut rice stalks with a sickle, but most farmers including small like my grandfather have expensice machines to manage their rice fields. the machines cost a lot, and i think small farmers are no longer main work to help out with the family budget. therefore, small farmers are tend to quit farming these days which is sad.


I have never seen big corn fields before, my grandmother has small one though. do corn farmers use similar machines as combine?

Anonymous said...

Wow, nice to see how the rice you planted earlier turned into this nice harvest :-D
Hmm.. I thought rice constantly grew in water, but this is a solid field right?
Have a nice day!

Anonymous said...

PS: The firs photo is excellent! Looks like a painting/(photo) on the wall :-D

ShennongShi said...

Is that you? The one wearing white hat? I love Japanese's rice too. It is so sticky and so nice. I also grow vegetables and squash, onions in here as well. They all taste very very nice!

kayanon said...


well, rice seedlings are planted in shalow water. when it comes harvesting, water should be removed; otherwise rice die because of cold and cannot harvest.

Exactly, my first photo looks like painting. i think it is luxury to see such a scenery from my window!

kayanon said...


you mean the one on the movie? she is my aunt, and I took this movie. Yeah, I think Japanese rice is the best in the world. When I was in canada, I had missed Japanese rice very much.

what is squash? Is it pumpkin or zucchini? That's true growing vegetables is fun and nice to eat! My mother grows Japanese raddish, beans, molokheya, qinggengcai, and tomato.

Pierre-Yann said...

I think corn harvester is very simillar, in a different scale though.
See here.

kayanon said...


wow, that's huge machine! it looks like corn monster. are there many corn farmers?

rudey said...

I like the view outside your window! It's like a dream.

Rice fields are lovely. My mother grew up in Arkansas, where rice is grown. Her family sometimes grew sorghum for molasses and peas of various sorts.

Thank you for sharing your pictures. They're delightful!

Pierre-Yann said...

In my region, l'Alsace, I think around 80% of fields are corn. And it's not eatable corn, at least for human. I think it's used as food for cow, are for industries (making plastic...)

Minty said...

Kayanon-san you are such a great photographer! You have a really artistic style. Please take photographs more often. ^^
The video was really informative too. The machine looks like fun to use, although maybe it would get tiring after a while. Does the rice get sold?

Anonymous said...

such a lovely blog! i look forward to reading more! :)

kayanon said...


Thank you! Yes, it is like a dream to have such a beautuful scenery from my window! I sometimes how beautiful it is because I have seen the same scenery since Im a little. However, I realized that's amazing since I came back from big Tokyo.

kayanon said...


I see. Corn for people should treated more carefully according to the photos. That big machine make sense.


Thank you very much! I will try to take more photos.

Yeah, it is fun to use these machines. While I was helping, I used conveyor machine to carry rice. It's funny I am very good at controlling the machine, I am bad at driving car though...

One third rice will be sold to JA
(Japan Agricalutural Cooporatives). Most of it is for family to eat.


Thank you for your comment! I will try to keep this blog up!

Rob said...

^^ I liked this blog a lot. I really like kind of quaint things...and this also makes me think of the past. My father was a farmer and he would harvest soybeans and wheat a majority of the time ^^ I really enjoyed your pictures!

kayanon said...


thank you very much! These thing are very natural for me, but I know it must be exciting to know them for people from other countries. I hope your visit again!

Anonymous said...

Sister thank you for your pics and very nice informations, please if you have some web sites where we can buy or ask prices of this machines for rice crops please send me by email to: , thank you and god bless, miguel-leilani.

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HarrizMa said...

Hi kayanon,
I'm rizz from Malaysia.
That's a really nice place and I bet it would be an exciting experience if I could spend time myself at the rice field.

I would like to have the opportunity to spend time at that place. I wonder if you allow such request?

Hope to hear from you soon.


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