Creating the Future of Rice Cultivation
Amid a history of two millennia and several hundred years of cultivation,
rice became the center of Japanese cuisine, and supported a rice culture in Japan.
However, in the brief period of this past 50 years,
the Westernization and diversification of food have seen rice
consumption drop to half of its peak amount,
and Japanese food culture is changing significantly.
In addition to the reduction in consumption, rice-growers are also aging,
and the area of the nation covered by rice paddies, such as terraced rice paddies, is shrinking.
The current fall in rice cultivation and consumption could be said to be a danger
to Japanese food culture, which has developed over a long period of history. As the presence
of rice within meals continues to fade, some worry that Japanese food culture will be forgotten,
and an unbroken tradition will come to an end.
Meanwhile, however, other countries have taken notice of Japanese cuisine.
Japanese cuisine is seen as healthy, and continues to spread in many countries overseas.
Rice paddies are the place that give birth to rice, the crop that serves as the center of Japanese food culture.
There must be many people who feel a sense of nostalgia
on seeing these views of rice paddies, with their endless seas of fresh green plants
and bowed, golden ears. These screen paintings of rice paddies, depicting this primeval landscape
of the Japanese soul, make up Seasons of Tanada.
landscape of the Japanese soul, make up Seasons of Tanada.
The work depicts scenes of terraced rice paddies, where the rice that has supported
Japanese cuisine is born, throughout the four beautiful seasons of Japan. As one gazes at the work,
images come to mind of our ancestors, who continued to cultivate rice
ceaselessly since its arrival well over two thousand years ago, and who passed down
the bountiful rice culture that flourished alongside its cultivation.
We hope that by coming into contact with the origin of the Japanese soul through Seasons of Tanada,
you may rediscover the value of the long-standing Japanese culture surrounding rice.