At Wara Art Festival in Uwasekigata Park, Niigata, Japan.
In Niigata, one of Japan’s top locations for rice, rice straw is created as a byproduct of rice production. In the past, rice straw was used to make traditional tools utilized in Japanese daily life. However, that form of use is now dying out. As a new way of using rice straw, in 2006 Niigata City and Musashino Art University (known as “Musabi” in Japan) collaborated to create “Wara Art,” massive artwork made of rice straw. In 2008, the Wara Art Festival began as an event to exhibit Wara Art.
Rice straw is a symbol of the rice that supports the lives of Japanese people. Through collaboration between Musabi students and Niigata City residents they create artwork made with rice straw and exhibit this as an event, modern usage of rice straw is presented and regional revitalization and people-to-people exchanges are promoted.