Thinking 21st century art in the world from Niigata
Echigo-Tsumari Art Field - Official Web Magazine

Feature / Interviews with rice farmers

Make a living by growing rice in a land of heavy snowfall

Interviewed by Kitagawa From

The new series of interviews conducted by Kitagawa Fram, General Director of ETAT pay respects to local people who engage with rice production in this region known for heavy snowfall. They treasure wisdom and traditions nurtured and built by their ancestors who related themselves to nature and navigated through their lives in this heavy snowfall community. We are determined to learn real life in a snow country based upon farming.

Director: Fujinoken (N37) / Filmed and edited by Moriyama Hisao

02 November 2021

Vol.1 Niwano Shinichi (Akakura village, Tokamachi-city)

Niwano Shinichi is a full-time rice farmer who was born and raised in Akakura village of Tokamachi-city, the oldest village in the world. He told us that he has been producing rice while he is having fun by cutting corners when you can such as using herbicides and drone spraying. “Because you deal with nature, you can’t go on if you feel you are suffering. You have to “play with the earth”, he smiled. Picking up mountain vegetables, chasing rabbits, making artworks, and drinking with friends – this is a conversation between Niwano who has consciously treasured “playfulness” in life and Kitagawa Fram.


Niwano Shinichi

Born and raised in Akakura village in Tokamachi-city. Niwano is a dedicated rice farmer managing approximately 2ha (the amount of harvested rice 9600kg) of rice field situated above 450-500 above sea level. He provided support with production of an ETAT artwork in the past.

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