Gargantuan Straw Creatures Rise from the Fields of Japan’s Annual Rice Harvest — Colossal

Gargantuan Straw Creatures Rise from the Fields of Japans Annual | RetinaComics



Art

#animals
#farming
#Japan
#public art
#sculpture
#straw
#Wara Art Festival

October 4, 2023

Christopher Jobson

All images courtesy of Wara Art Festival

In Japan’s Niigata prefecture, cooler weather marks the advent of enormous straw creatures materializing from the fields and stalking the changing landscape. Every year around the rice harvest, art students repurpose the crop’s leftover straw, or wara, into mammoth characters for the Wara Art Festival. Recent editions have brought dragons, a bonsai-like tree, and the widely popular maneki-neko, or beckoning cat, to the autumn terrain.

On view now at Uwasekigata Park, this year’s festival is themed Echigo no Umi, or Sea of Echigo. Several works envision marine creatures that would emerge from the water or fly above its surface, including an octopus with raised tentacles, diving dolphins, and a crested ibis, which, according to Spoon & Tamago, is said to have a symbiotic relationship with the sea.

If you’re in Niigata, you can see the thatched beasts through the end of October. Otherwise, check out the works in the 2021 edition on Colossal.

 

a mammoth bird sculpture made of straw

a mammoth beckoning cat sculpture made of straw

a mammoth dragon sculpture made of straw

a mammoth octopus sculpture made of straw

three dolphin sculptures made of straw

three dolphin sculptures made of straw

a mammoth tree sculpture made of straw

a mammoth beckoning cat sculpture made of straw

#animals
#farming
#Japan
#public art
#sculpture
#straw
#Wara Art Festival

 

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