“We have no sea and no mountains, but what we do have plenty of is rice,” said [Mayor Koyu] Suzuki, 70. “We have to create a tourism industry using our own ingenuity.”

The New York Times ran a sensational little story earlier this week, detailing how a once-obscure Japanese farming town called Inakadate became a tourist mecca through the simple magic of planting colored rice plants in patterns that resemble massive murals when viewed from the proper angle.

This year’s display: a warrior monk facing off against a samurai. The photo of the art is stunning; it looks like someone Photoshopped simplified images of classic Japanese art onto an otherwise plain field of rice. CBS also offers a video that shares more views of the art crops.

A question is raised: Could something similar be achieved domestically, perhaps in the cornfields of Iowa? Of course, there’s always South Dakota’s Corn Palace … and the seed art of the Minnesota State Fair … and the criminally undermonetized phenomenon of crop circles

Image source: Flickr member dalangalma under Creative Commons

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