This is the start of something new for Otaku Lounge. While I’ll still absolutely be keeping up with the seasonal anime posts and more occasional miscellaneous posts about Japanese music, film, fashion, and general culture, I also felt the need to try something new.
I first moved to Japan in 2012 and since that time, I’ve travelled extensively around the country and taken a large number of photos in the process. Not just photos of your typical major sightseeing spots – castles, temples, shrines, etc. – but also day-to-day photos of my more immediate surroundings and environments. And I feel like some of these photos I’ve taken are (maybe, kinda, possibly, sort of) decent, and that I’d like to post them in order to share with readers not just the photos themselves, but also the various stories or experiences behind them. Although I’ve usually been quite leery in the past of giving too much away about my personal life on Otaku Lounge (and still am to some degree), I’m also hoping to break down a few barriers with these posts and give the blog something of an added personal touch.
Having spent 4 years living in Ehime – a prefecture on Shikoku known primarily for its mandarin oranges – I moved to Fukui prefecture in early 2017. While rice fields are a ubiquitous feature of Japan no matter where you travel in the country, rice production is one of Fukui’s largest industries. More specifically, in 2017 it was ranked no. 6 out of Japan’s 47 prefectures in terms of the amount of rice the prefecture produces annually, at 130,700 tons. 91% of Fukui’s farmland is used to cultivate it. Both the rice itself and the rice wine made from it (i.e. nihonshuu, better known as ‘sake’ overseas) are considered to be of especially high quality, largely due to Fukui’s extremely clean water, and many Fukui residents are very proud of this fact. Indeed, one of Japan’s most popular and famous rice brands, Koshihikari, was created in Fukui in 1956.
What this means for me? A lot of excellent rice in my meals, particularly in the school lunches I usually eat alongside the kids, and the above view at the back of my apartment building. In the summer, the young rice plants are a sharp, bright green, which gradually ripen into a warmer, yellower hue before being harvested in early autumn. I took this particular photo last September, just a week or so before cropping began.
Question of the post: What’s the biggest industry in the area you live? Do you think it adds any beauty to your surroundings?