Tanada, or rice terraces, is a paddy field on a steep, narrow land. As Japan is a mountainous country and flat land suited for rice production is limited, people developed mountainside land as a new paddy field to increase rice production. As a result, there are a lot of Tanadas all over Japan now. When I traveled in Nagasaki prefecture last week, I visited some Tanadas, one of which is called “Tanimizu no Tanada” and took its photo. Beyond the rice terraces were seen the blue East China Sea.
It is winter and no rice is planted now, and the soil is directly seen. But in summer it looks very beautiful with a color of green. Though the rice is staple food for Japanese, its consumption is continuously decreasing for decades due to a drop of population and westernization of our food in general. As a result, many Taneda were abandoned and went devastated as a paddy field unsuited for mechanization.
But Tanada is recently regarded as a valuable cultural heritage with strong connection with Japanese lifestyle, so it should be protected and handed over generation to generation. Japanese government also cast a new viewpoint to Tanada and announced “Choice of top 100 Tanadas in Japan” for the purpose of collecting people’s attention. Tanada lives in the center of Japanese heart and now it has changed the role from a rice production to a promising tourist spot.