This is Kobe, Japan.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

3 Japan 2012 Otsu

Week 100
Mission Log
The rice has been planted.  There are rice fields all over the place.  They are right in the city many times.  Basically everyone works on a rice field.  It`s not like a regular field.  It has a couple centimeters (things similar to inches) of water on top the field.  They also don`t plant just seeds very often.  They plant them as small little plants that are already half a foot tall.  I`m excited to watch them all grow.  By the time you get here, in July, they will all be very tall and almost ready to harvest.  They don`t get tall like corn or anything.  They get up to about your waist height.  They look pretty similar to grass right now.  It`s just a couple strands of grass put together in a clump.  Then, one of those clumps every couple of inches all lined up in a straight row.  Most people have told me that when they were younger, they planted the rice fields by hand, one at a time.  Many many older women are permanently bent over so their hips are bent at a ninety degree angle and their upper body is parallel to the ground.  They can`t stand up straight.  It comes from bending over to plant rice their whole life and from drinking too much tea (it weakens your bones).  Nowadays, everyone just rides a machine through the field that plants it all for them.  It seems pretty convenient.  Along the road that we walk from the apartment to the train station there are a few rice fields in a row.  The first two just look like normal rice fields with the little plants in straight lines and a couple inches of water.  The third one, however, has a sign that says "Tamagawa Elementary School's Practice Learning Field".  The rice is not in straight lines at all.  They are in weird clumps.  A lot of them have fallen over.  There are tons of big mounds of dirt and footprints everywhere.  It`s way funny and way cute.  I`m excited to watch them grow.  After they get taller, it`s cool to watch them wave as the wind blows through them. 
-Elder Isaac Swift

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