Drawings and Essays of Junior Masters
NEC Paddy Making Project has a "Master Course" to conduct field maintenance activities (such as seeding, ridge building, bamboo grove maintenance) while the main activities including planting, weed removing, and harvesting are not conducted.
We call the children who participate with their family members "Junior Masters".
Lively essays and colorful drawings expressed through the perspective of children are introduced on this website.
Work of Rintaro Takeuchi and Nayuko Takeuchi
Title: A Year in a Rice Field
Written by: Rintaro Takeuchi (11-year-old)
In May, "Splash, splash, splash"; the sound of rice planting. A year in a rice field starts with this sound. Stuck in the mud at the knees, difficult to take a step forward, we barely finished rice planting.
In July, weed removing started under the blazing sun. We carefully removed weeds, trying not to bend the grown rice plants.
In October, we harvested rice plants with many ears. The rice plants were sickled carefully one by one. Bundled the rice plants and hanged them on a rice plant hanger to dry.
In chilling November, it was the time to thresh. We used traditional threshing machines to thresh carefully.
In freezing February, we revived the rice field and made Miso paste. The tasks to revive the rice field were 1. raking fallen leaves, 2. removing weeds, and 3. building a path to Master Rice Field. I was in charge of raking fallen leaves. I worked hard as a volunteer. Then, we moved to another place to make Miso paste. It was fun. I hope the Miso paste we made will come out delicious.
This is a year of the rice field. We discovered Japanese brown frogs last year. We also found many living things such as dragonfly larvae, rice fish and fireflies, and heard interesting stories. I touched a cute harvest mouse this year.
I learned a lot through the year. I think you should visit the rice field.
Work of Yuki Tanaka and Rena Tanaka
Title: Fun Rice Field and Good Rice Field
Written by: Yuki Tanaka (11-year-old)
The memorable thing of Paddy Making Project is that I fell on my behind while plating and my pants were covered with mud. My feet were stuck in the mud during planting, I lost my balance, then fell on my behind. I will be careful next time.
Another memorable thing was that we built a straw base. We collected threshed straw, spread them on the ground, and built straw walls. But, the base was taken over by Mr. Iijima from Asaza Fund, so I will try to keep the tree house currently being built.
I will work hard on cleaning the water of Kasumigaura so that Japanese crested ibises will emerge there in 100 years. I will probably not be around 100 years later, so I work hard so that I can encounter Japanese crested ibises while I am alive.
Work of Ryuhei Hamada and Kohana Hamada
Title: Participating in Master Course
Written by: Ryuhei Hamada (14-year-old)
My sister and I have been participating in Master Course and other events of Paddy Making Project for 8 years. I particularly like the Master Course. The Master Course is more flexible than ordinary events.
For example, the Master Course of this year includes bamboo grove maintenance, ridge building, making future plans for Paddy Making Project, and the ancient method of trampling cultivated rice fields. The trampling of the rice field was a big success, as even Mr. Iijima from Asaza Fund was surprised.
Some of the future plans for Paddy Making Project including making a habitat for kingfishers and egg-laying sites for beetles which had been carried out in Master Course.
I will continue to improve the rice field environment with NEC employees.
Work of Mao Takagi
Title: Meeting with many living things
Written by: Mao Takagi (9-year-old)
You can meet natural living things at the rice field in Ushiku, including dragonflies and frogs. I went there in summer to see fireflies with my family. I was moved when I saw many fireflies flying between rice plants.
I was told that fireflies can only live around clean water. I removed weeds, hoping many fireflies can live in the rice field.
I am hoping that I can help to create an environment where many kinds of living things can live around the rice field in Ushiku.