There is a character (played by Harvey Keitel) in the Wayne Wang / Paul Auster film Smoke, who walks across the road from his shop, sets up his camera in exactly the same spot, and clicks the shutter at exactly the same time each morning. As well as being a metaphor for the the random and yet cyclical nature of life, the resulting photographs demonstrate how one can find beauty and significance in the seemingly inconsequential, and inspired me to do the same thing for rice farming in rural Ibaraki that Keitel's character does for pedestrians and passing cars on a New York street corner.
So, every weekday morning and afternoon from the beginning of May to the beginning of October this year, I stopped to take a photo of the tambo (田んぼ / rice fields) on my way to and from work. Sometimes the weather was beautiful, sometimes there was - quite literally - a typhoon passing through, and sometimes, for no apparent reason, the sky went a kind of purple-y colour. Whilst I would like to have created a proper video that can be viewed full-screen, for the moment you'll have to make do with this Weebly slideshow. As you'll see, it took me a couple of weeks to settle on the ideal spot from which to take my twice-daily photo, and there is a break of about a month during which the rice grows noticeably taller and yellower (I was on my jaunt to Sado Island at the time), but hopefully it will give you a pretty good idea of how the tambo go from mud to rice and back again, in the process providing the Japanese with a large proportion of their daily carbohydrate intake.
To view the slideshow, hover your pointer over the photograph below and click on the 'Play' icon. It's about three or four minutes long, and there is a special bonus prize of, er, a bag of rice for anyone who spots the microlight.