People Make These Amazing Giant Straw Sculptures At Japan’s Wara Art Festival

In Japan, autumn is one of the most beautiful seasons due to the breathtaking fall foliage. And each year during this season, the Wara Art Festival is held at Uwasekigata Park located in the region of Niigata Prefecture. Since 2008, students from Musashino Art University in Tokyo visit the area to create straw sculptures of gigantic animals.

The Niigata prefecture is known for the superior quality rice. This region also has the highest rice crop yield in all of Japan. Rice harvest typically happens at the start of fall season. After the harvest season, local farmers come up with several ways to recycle leftover rice straw. They use the rice straw, or ‘wara’ in Japanese to feed livestock, make fiberboard, for soil conditioning, making pulp for paper and more. Despite all these recycling methods, Niigata farmers are still left with so many straws. So, they decided to invite art students in Tokyo to create sculptures with the leftovers.


The Annual Wara Art Festival In Niigata Prefecture Features Gigantic Straw Sculptures Of Animals

niigata japan wara art gorilla

Students from Musashino Art University replied to the invitation back in 2008 and went to Niigata for the creative art exhibit. By braiding the straw over a wooden frame, they were able to create straw art in massive sizes. A giant snail, a pair of giant ducks, super-sized mushrooms, and different human figures, all made from straw. The first art exhibit became a massive success so the students vowed to return again next year. And that’s how it evolved into a yearly tradition.

art students create sculptures using rice straw


niigata japan wara art 2019


Giant Straw Sculptures

Over the years that followed the annual Wara Art Festival has featured many powerful animals. Statues of a dragon, mammoth, whale, gorilla, crocodile, rhinosaurus, dinosaur, and more have been created. Locals and tourists alike flock to the Uwasekigata Park to see the magnificent sculptural pieces on display. Right after rice harvest season, which usually starts in late August, art students come up with impressive new sculptural designs to adorn the venue. Visitors can also take photos with the enormous sculptures until the end of October.

japan wara art festival straw sculptures whale


niigata japan wara art 2018


niigata japan wara art eagle

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 Wara Art Festival was canceled. So, we’re going to look back at some of the most incredible sculptures that have been made at the event in previous years. Hopefully, the pandemic will be over next year so everything will be back to routine. And we’ll be seeing more amazing animal sculptures at the 2022 Wara Art Festival.

japan wara art festival dragon


wara art festival straw sculptures elephant


niigata japan wara art walrus


niigata japan wara art turtle


niigata japan wara art squid


niigata japan wara art monkey


niigata japan wara art hippo


niigata japan wara art goat


niigata japan wara art dinosaur


japan wara art festival straw sculptures ant


japan wara art festival straw sculptures cow


japan wara art festival straw sculptures chameleion


japan wara art festival straw sculptures lion


japan wara art festival straw sculptures cobra


japan wara art festival straw sculptures fox


niigata japan wara art crocodile


niigata japan wara art crab


japan wara art festival straw sculptures triceratops


japan wara art festival straw sculptures anglerfish


japan wara art festival straw sculptures rhino


japan wara art festival straw sculptures octopus


japan wara art festival straw sculptures mammoth


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