Autumn is a rice crop season in Japan. Each year, farmers make sure that the uneaten straw, called “wara”, doesn’t go to waste. From feeding the cattle to improving the dirt, the straw finds its objective. In particular, Niigata state has a rather creative method of using these leftover rice husks by hosting a yearly event called “Wara Art Festival”.
Ever since 2008, the straw has been used as a basis to make giant sculptures displayed at Uwasekigata Park. Each one of the monuments are handmade out of wooden rods that serve as the backbone of the sculptures and dried sock molded on the framework. Each handicraft takes approximately a week to be finished.
The initiative is a collaborative effort between the Local Tourism Council of Niigata City and pupils of Musashino Art University.