Rice Paddy Art in Saitama Celebrates Japanese Rugby Players

Rice paddy fields in Gyoda, in Japan’s Saitama prefecture, were transformed into works of art featuring three members of the Japanese national rugby team ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

The art piece was created in June by over a thousand local volunteers planting rice in the seven-acre (2.8-hectare) area, according to a report from The Japan News. This footage was captured by British sports journalist Nick Heath on October 7, during the Rugby World Cup group stages.

Gyoda is about five miles from Kumagaya, a host city for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

This is Gyoda’s 12th annual rice paddy art event, which has previously paid tribute to the Nazca Lines of Peru and traditional Japanese motifs. Gyoda also holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest rice field art.

The design shows, from left, Kazuki Himeno, Michael Leitch, and Fumiaki Tanaka. Credit: Nick Heath via Storyful