Rice Sculpture

Wara Art/Cover Images/Newscom (gorilla sculpture); Courtesy of Wara Art Matsuri (building sculpture)

After you harvest rice, what do you do with the leftover straw? In northern Japan, participants in the Wara Art Festival use wara—the Japanese word for “rice straw”—to make sculptures.

Traditionally, the Japanese recycle wara for many things, like floor mats, ornaments, and feed for livestock. But 10 years ago, the region’s farming community asked students at the nearby Musashino Art University to make art out of wara. And the festival was born!

Back to top
Read Aloud