Jul 28, 2018
I didn't grow up on a farm back in the States, but I did spend time with relatives who were farmers. I'm pretty familiar with the types of tools they use back stateside, but I've seen things over here in Japan that I never saw growing up.
Here are three in particular that caught my eye:
1) The Hawk Kite
Farmers out here don't like to use pesticides or other chemicals on their crops. Instead, they use the natural ecosystem to promote healthy crop growth. Still, sometimes that ecosystem needs some taming, and that's where scarecrows and these hawk kites come in. Hawks are fairly common out here, but it's not like they patrol specific fields, so farmers use these kites to scare off would be crop poachers.
2) Rolling Seat
I used to marvel at how my neighbor, who isn't a spring chicken anymore, was able to hold a squat and duck walk for so long in her field, but then I noticed that she had a little assistance. These little rolling seats enable folks to keep low to the ground without having to kill their backs or knees. They are also narrow enough to be able to pass through the narrow rows in the fields without damaging crops.
3) Bamboo broom
These are not unique to farms in Japan, though I was surprised to see how often they are used for farming purposes. If you've never used one of these before, they are hands down the best brooms you could possibly use. They don't get dirty, they sweep really well, and, as you can see from the picture, they are dirt cheap. For all those reasons, the farmers actually use them in the fields to clear chaff and brush, just as well as they can use them to sweep their driveways.
Have you seen any other unique tools or instruments out here in Japan? Maybe not necessarily for farming but for something else? Feel free to share in the comments section below!
Hitting the books once again as a Ph.D. student in Niigata Prefecture. Although I've lived in Japan many years, life as a student in this country is a first.
Blessed Dad. Lucky Husband. Happy Gaijin (most of the time).