Students and Guardians


Rice Harvesting in Ini

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On Saturday, September 16, Associate Professor Higginbotham, Professor Kurihara (formerly Hiroshima Kokusai Gakuin University), and 8 Eikei University of Hiroshima students went to Ini, Aki-Ota, to help with the rice harvest.  It is a beautiful village with many very small rice paddies that have been farmed in a similar way for hundreds of years.

As you can see in the pictures, the paddies are so small that only very small machines can be used: most of the work is done by hand. This traditional labor-intensive style of farming is, however, in danger of disappearing as the population declines, so the locals are very happy when young people volunteer at busy times. The farmer we assisted, Mr. Kono, supervised us in harvesting the rice from the same field that we had planted when we came in May. It was hot work but satisfying to cut down and collect the rice that we had planted a few months before. 

At lunchtime, we were invited to a local temple to eat our lunchboxes. Shoonji temple has a friendly priest and a wonderful view over the valley. It was also cool, so we could relax between our work in the hot fields. When the rice has dried, Mr. Kono said he would send us a few bags so that we can taste our hard work and remember Ini while we are studying in the city.