Monday, August 23, 2010

Rice Harvest

Sorry for my absence between the new moon and the full moon, but I had to go back to Japan to help with the rice harvest. (I wish. Just kidding.) In the U. S., we picture farms as endless acres of crops. In Shizuoka, small rice fields grew between factories, houses, or schools. As Alex notices in American Fuji (p 170): "He passed a one-family house, a fabric store, a miniature rice field, a Mitsubishi plant, and an apartment complex. He wondered about Japanese zoning laws. Was it chaos or was he blind to whatever scheme prevailed? He thought of the measuring-instrument stores in Tokyo and Shizuoka. Japan organized itself differently. It wasn't like Europe, where a drugstore was a drugstore with a different word for it. You had to learn a whole new way of thinking. No wonder he felt so stupid here."

Here, you see sheaves of rice hung upside down to dry. If you look closely, you can see Mt. Fuji in the background tangled in the phone lines above my head.

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