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Japan Photo Journal: Rice paddy art in Miyazaki Pref. says 'Bye-baikin' to coronavirus

(Frame grab from the YouTube channel of Takachiho, Miyazaki Prefecture's general policy division)

Rice paddy art featuring popular Japanese anime villain Baikinman (or "germ man," from the Anpanman series) is seen in this frame grab from a YouTube video taken from a drone by the general policy division of Takachiho, Miyazaki Prefecture. The annual art project in the Tochimata rice terrace -- one of the "top 100 rice terraces in Japan" -- was launched by some 40 area farms in 2011 to cheer up those affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. This year, some 80 people including locals planted five varieties of rice plants in different colors in the 3,000-square-meter field in June, with the hope that the coronavirus would be contained soon. The picture of Baikinman and his parting catchphrase "Bye-baikin" emerged in September. The rice terrace art can be seen until around Sept. 20, and the plants will be harvested at the end of month. The town's general policy division YouTube channel is at

    (Japanese original by Tsugio Shigeharu, Nobeoka Local Bureau)

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