The Yomiuri ShimbunThree rugby players from Japan’s national team look out from rice paddies in Gyoda, Saitama Prefecture — in a piece of agricultural art created to promote the Rugby World Cup, which starts in September.
The annual rice paddy art event has been put on by the city along with other entities for the past 11 years. It was recognized by Guinness World Records in 2015 as the world’s largest rice paddy art.
Organizers decided this year’s design should celebrate the Rugby World Cup as the neighboring city of Kumagaya is scheduled to host matches during the World Cup.
In June, about 1,000 Gyoda residents and other people planted an area measuring about 2.8 hectares with four types of rice plants in different colors: green, black, white and red. The design features Leitch Michael in the middle, Fumiaki Tanaka to the right and Kazuki Himeno to the left. It also includes a message to cheer on the national team.