Sunday, September 6, 2015

Part 2: Rope Making and Rice Harvesting in Asahi, Chiba!

On Saturday September 5th, my friends and I went back to Ohara Yugaku Museum in Asahi to take part in the next experience: rope making and rice harvesting!

When we got there, we noticed that some volunteers had farming clothes prepared for participants who wanted to wear them (for free!) so we decided to wear them for the day.

After the welcome ceremony, we began the first event of the day: making rope from straw!
ALTs making rope from straw
The old ladies who were teaching everyone made it look so easy, but it turned out to be really difficult!  I had to restart my rope a couple times.  But in the end I (sort of) got the hang of it!
The rope that I made
We all wanted to keep our ropes, but unfortunately we used them for the rice harvesting activity in the afternoon.  The person in charge briefly taught us how to stand and cut the rice, and afterwards we made our way to the rice field that we had weeded two months before.
A child cutting the rice in the rice field

Cutting the rice was really fun!  We used the ropes that we had made that morning to bundle the rice.  It was really cool sharing the same experience with traditional Japanese rice farmers.  We cut the rice for about 45 minutes, and while there were a lot of other participants, there was still a lot of rice plants left uncut by the time we finished.  Now, there are machines that can easily cut the rice plants so it isn’t as strenuous for farmers to harvest the rice annually.  It was still an awesome experience to cut the rice by hand, so if anyone gets the opportunity to partake in this kind of event, please give it a try!

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