"They are living things, they are precision machines"
Excerpt from "The Breeze Comes Filling the Valley," Spring & Asura, Poems of Kenji Miyazawa, Translated by Hiroaki Sato, Chicago Review Press (1973).

21_21 DESIGN SIGHT holds "KOME : The Art of Rice" Exhibition starting February 28, 2014.
Rice (kome) is a very immediate part of lives in Japan. It is an integral aspect of everyday life. Many facets of Japan's culture evolved in conjunction with the history of rice cultivation, and dietary culture became increasingly rice-based. That said, one question that may be posed is : How much do we know about rice apart from as a food?

The paddies in which rice plants bear grains are ecosystems that take on and nurture diverse forms of life. They also help preserve natural cycles, functioning as water storage systems and mechanisms that prevent environmental warming. The typical bowl of tasty boiled rice served as part of a meal consists of roughly 3,000 grains of rice, which is the yield of three bundles of rice stalks. Each one of those grains represents the tireless work and ingenuity of generations upon generations of people who have been involved in the cultivation of rice, as well as storing stocks of the Earth's vast, cyclical energy.

"They are living things, they are precision machines." In the course of his own labors in cultivating rice, the poet Kenji Miyazawa succinctly captured the essence of rice with this phrase. In Japan, rice is a hub that links real staples of life with culture. The intricate environmental systems that make possible rice and its associated elements of culture possess many clues that bring us closer to the essence of design, clues from which we should learn. These clues will doubtlessly lead to many new forms of aesthetic "sustenance" that will define new futures.

As we enter a transitional period marked by volatile changes in the global environment, individual life style and collective values, and as rice's position as the key staple food in the Japanese diet teeters, this exhibition aims to take a fresh look at rice as the foundation of Japanese culture. Therefore, the goal is to engage exhibit visitors, compel them to take a new look and rethink rice as an important subject of Japanese society as a whole, and to get them to think about the future of rice.

The directors of this exhibition are Taku Satoh, a 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT director and graphic designer, and cultural anthropologist Shinichi Takemura. We hope that the direction by these two professionals from different backgrounds treating the same subject matter contributes to your enjoyment of the "KOME : The Art of Rice" exhibition.

Exhibition "KOME : The Art of Rice"
February 28 - June 15, 2014
Tuesdays (Except April 29, May 6)
11:00 - 20:00 (Entrance until 19:30)
*Along with the ROPPONGI ART NIGHT program, 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT will be opening until 24:00 on April 19(Sat). (Entrance until 23:30)
General ¥1,000 / University Student ¥800 / High and Junior High School Student ¥500 / Ages 12 and under may enter for free
*¥200 discount for a group of over 15 people
*With a certification of disability, admission is free as well as that of an accompanying care-giver.
Click here for more discount information
Organized by:
In association with:
Agency for Cultural Affairs; Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; MINATO CITY BOARD OF EDUCATION
Special Sponsor:
Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd.
Supported by:
Okagesama Farm, Canon Marketing Japan Inc., SATAKE CORPORATION, Suzunobu, Central Union of Agricultural Co-operatives, National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations, NARO Institute of Crop Science (NICS), Hokuren Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives, Masuki Co., Ltd., YAMAHA CORPORATION(in random order)
Exhibition Directors:
Taku Satoh, Shinichi Takemura
Planning Associates:
Mitsuhiro Miyazaki (AXIS), Fumie Okumura
Graphic Design:
Taku Satoh Design Office
Space Design Support:
Lui Igarashi
Yusuke Nishibe
Film Production:
Yu Yamanaka
Participating Artists:
AXIS, Daisuke Abe, Kensuke Arakawa, Takeshi Ishiguro, imaginative inc., Azusa Kawaji, KOTOHOKI PROJECT, CSO PEACESEED, studio note, Perfektron, Sakura Hirai, Kentaro Hirase, Naoto Fukasawa, Shunichi Miki (Bunkyo Zuanshitsu), WOW (Daihei Shibata)
21_21 DESIGN SIGHT Directors:
Issey Miyake, Taku Satoh, Naoto Fukasawa
Associate Director:
Noriko Kawakami
  • * This exhibition is being held with the aide by Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
  • * The content above is subject to change without prior notice.
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