In 1993, the town of Inakadate in Aomori Prefecture hit on the idea of attracting tourists by taking strains of rice that grew in different shades of color and planting them in precisely laid out patterns, so that the resulting fields would produce beautiful works of art as the rice grew. The idea was a huge success and now rice-growing communities around Japan set aside fields to produce massive images from folklore, fine art, or even modern popular characters.

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