Japan’s 14th Annual Wara Art Festival Unveils Massive Rice Straw Sculptures

Rice Straw Sculptures at the Wara Art Festival in Japan

This year marks the 14th annual Wara Art Festival in Japan. Hosted at the Uwasekigata Park in the Niigita prefecture, this creative event features massive sculptures made from rice straw, called “wara” in Japanese. The theme of 2022 was “things that bring happiness,” so all of the artworks are unified by this idea.

The Wara Art Festival partners with the Musashino Art University to dispose of unused straw from the rice harvest. Art students from the university take on the unique challenge of creating wooden structures that are then covered with bunches of straw. While last year's collection boasted giant fearsome animals, 2022's gallery has a cuter approach.

Two of the straw sculptures that embody happiness, for instance, depict a maneki-neko, or “beckoning cat,” which is a common symbol of good luck. Another stunning piece portrays a Chinese mythical creature called the qilin, which was said to bring happiness wherever it walks, and a sculpture of a pine tree, which symbolizes wisdom and longevity.

The 2022 Wara Art Festival is officially held on October 8, but the sculptures are on view at Uwasekigata Park until the end of October. You can also see the work from previous festivals in their online gallery.

Every year at the Wara Art Festival, Japanese art students create massive sculptures from rice straw.

Rice Straw Sculptures at the Wara Art Festival in Japan

This year's festival was inspired by the “things that bring happiness” theme.

Rice Straw Sculptures at the Wara Art Festival in Japan

Some of the artworks made include a maneki-neko (“beckoning cat”), a pine tree, and a Chinese mythical creature called a qilin.

Rice Straw Sculptures at the Wara Art Festival in Japan

Wara Art Festival: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
h/t: [Spoon & Tamago]

All images via Wara Art Festival.

Related Articles:

Japanese Village Plants Different Types of Rice To Grow Giant Homage To Art History

Japanese Shrine Creates Custom Water Sanctuary for Bees To Stay Hydrated

Immersive Installation Takes Over a Japanese Botanical Garden Turning It Into a Surreal Dreamscape

Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content