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Photo Journal: Terraced tradition

The rice plants of the "Obasute Tanada" rice terraces in Chikuma, Nagano Prefecture, have turned a ripe yellow as autumn approaches. The harvest here -- a designated national cultural scenic spot -- is expected to peak this month. With few children around ready to take over the farms, the municipal government introduced an owner system in part of the area in 1996 to maintain the view of the terraces spreading over the mountain landscape. Local citizens' group "Obasute Tanada Meigetsukai" took over ownership of the terraces, and organization head Masafumi Mori commented, "We can't let such beautiful rice terraces go to ruins. The results this year have been the best yet." (Mainichi)

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