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The old-fashioned way


An 86-year-old farmer in Chiba, puts up bamboo frames to hang and dry rice on. Most rice is planted and harvested by tractor or combine these days, but some farmers still do it the old way.

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some farmers still do it the old way.

Thank you to all hard working rice farmers My parents taught me well that I never waste one grain of rice..

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Captivative Cultivator !

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Radioactive rice?

-7 ( +3 / -9 )

(Easy to be negitive and comment about radiation in Shuzoka tea and rice in the air, but I won't). Instead, great to see farmers using traditional and natural methods to grow and harvest rice, not like in America where I saw genetically modified rice harvested by massive diesel machines, wasting about 5% in the process. Good on you small farmers!!!

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Guess the writer is a big city boy who thinks the majority of rice farmers can afford the big machinery. Here in Yamanashi and over in Nagano this is the only way rice is dried.

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oh man, how i wish i can can make it to a healthy 86 years of age, doing something really useful like this farmer. my respects go fully to such strong survival spirit.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Oh' the wonders of nature, are endless...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wow, 86 years old and still healthy and strong enough to keep working. This man has more energy than me for sure, I just sit in front of my laptop all day, everyday.

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Hey that looks like my Uncle! Interestingly, I know an old lady who is quite good at farming too, I think it's her knowledge on fertilizers. When I thought Id gambaru at our vegie patch and after several years of plowing by hand my small plot, I got ambitious and thought I d try a larger area. I figured if I just got one of them hand held ploughing machines I could manage. At the local second hand shop I spotted one and asked the ojiisan did he think I could manage it. He bluntly told me no. I got the implicit feeling that he didnt want to sell this machine to a woman. While at first I was surprised, I decided he was my kinda guy. Now Im just waiting for my husband to get the urge to buy a plough-so far Ive tempted him with the thought that trees and bush like trees, like kiwi or chestnut, are not so hard work. Plus theyre quite sunstantial in bulk. I think he is tempted with the thought of being able to eat large quantities at a time rather than have to finger pick a measly little nibbles worth. Autumn is a good time for planting shrubs and trees right?

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@Realteacher - I saw very little machinery in use in rice fields in Ibaraki when I lived there. It seems that a lot of Japanese farmers have very small plots and simply can't afford the machinery. In China I saw rice paddies still being ploughed manually with the help of water buffalo. So I'm not sure where "Most rice is planted and harvested by tractor or combine" in Asia. As to the fact that the farmer is 86 and still doing the hard work - he probably can't afford to retire either, and it's unlikely his kids are farming.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This pic is relaxing and sweet, better than akb48 and K-pop crap.

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There's something very comforting about the symmetry in the pic. I can imagine the sense of pride and accomplishment he feels while sipping his o-sake after a day's work. I've tried farming, and it's not easy!!

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Love it xxx

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ah, the traditional Northern Chiba/Shimosa rice farmer. Feeding the ungrateful Edo swines since time immemorial.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This pic is relaxing and sweet, better than akb48 and K-pop crap. .............................

to each his/her own, I still prefer to be turn on by K-pop girl bands. Still, a nice picture.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I live in Chiba. Virtually all the rice is planted tractors with rice-planting devices attached. As far as I know the only rice grown in this area that is grown the old-fashioned way is planted by WOOFERS, Willing (i.e. unpaid) Workers on Organic Farms. If the rice were planted by hand by paid workers, it would be ridiculously expensive.

It may surprise many of the city dwellers who imagine the countryside still uses old methods, that the rice is sprayed with chemicals by helicopters. On the day of spraying we are advised to keep pets and people indoors.

Most of the farmers are old. There are few young people working on the farms here. Healthy 80 year olds are not unusual. In the future, without a doubt, there will be more machines as there will be fewer farmers.

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Virtually all the rice is planted tractors with rice-planting devices attached

That's probably the crap rice that's sold for industrial foods, glue, or what not. The stuff in Nagano is mainly for sake and a lot of the Yamanashi rice is for the same.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

86 years old & still farming. Without machinery no less. Wow! Chances of me making it to 86 are pretty slim, but if I do I'm pretty sure I won't be spending too much time in the field. OTOH, maybe it's the working in the fields that's got him to 86....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Man, if any of you city-boys know just how much hard work went into agriculture, you probably wouldn't be so idyllic about it. It's not "the good life", it's tiresome, dirty and thankless... no matter what country you're in.

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My respect!

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Radiation “hot spot” found near Tokyo in Chiba prefecture — 200 km south of Fukushima I wouldn't risk eating rice from Chiba.

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2tigerguyAug. 27, 2011 - 07:14AM JST

Your position is very strange. If you worry about your health when you must check ALL products by use radiation sensor. For example, rice from Chiba may by without radiation but after transport radiation dust can touch of rice.

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