Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The Noyaki Event by Sadako

On February 2nd, I burnt the dead grass in my rice fields with farmers in my neighborhood. We call this event “Noyaki”. There are 15 ha of rice fields and the area of rice fields are about 6a.
    My fields have been cultivated by my ancestors through the ages. Twenty years ago, both my grandfather and grandmother passed away. After their death, my family had to cultivate the fields. But my father and my husband were car engineers, so the fields were cultivated by my kind neighbors for a long time.
  By the way, Noyaki is a big and dangerous event for us, because the dead grass  
is burnt with huge flames. 
So we have to inform the fire station before the event and prepare water.
Also Japanese agriculture is looked after by the elderly. My neighboring farmers are old, too.
  On that day, 21 members joined the event including my husband and me. The
average age of the members is about 75 years old. So my husband and I decided to join in past several years. (We are the youngest members in the event. My husband is 65 years old and while I’m not.) What will become of Japanese agriculture in the future?
  The event started at 7 am and finished 1 pm. During the event we talked about daily news, the memories of childhood and the future. It was a relaxing time. I could forget my busy schedule.
During the lunch time, we ate rice balls together on the bank of Motoarakawa river.
We bought rice balls at the convenience store near the riverside. While eating, sometimes I thought that these rice balls contradict the purpose of Noyaki.
We had pain in our lower backs for 3 days after Noyaki. But from the spring the rice plants will start to grow. In fall, after the harvest, I’ll make rice balls by myself. Surely it will be delicious.                            

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