Today’s outing was to the farm of Dr. Stapp’s former landlord Hitomi-san. Hitomi-san is a gentleman farmer of sorts. He was born and how lives in a house that his family has owned for over 300 years. His family used to be known for their archery prowess and his family crest still has arrows on it. His house also displays several antique bows along with other weapons.

Hitomi-san has has left one of his rice fields unplanted for us to complete. The rice comes in standard sized trays that have to be loaded onto a specially made tractor for planting rice. Each of us got to plant one row rice with the tractor, and for a bunch of city kids, we did OK. There were a few places where the tractor wouldn’t go, so several of us, including myself, took off our shoes and waded in to get blank spots. The cool mud felt good on my feet but I kept stepping on something that wasn’t quite mud and which sometime felt like it moved on its own. I tried not to think too much about though.

As we planted, we tried to find some good country songs to sing but we couldn’t find any that we all knew. We eventually hit on TV tunes that had country themes such as The Beverly Hillbillies, The Dukes of Hazzard, and Green Acres.

After planting Hitomi-san’s place, we walked around to some of the neighbors’ farms. Most were rice farmers, with a few barley fields, but one little old lady owned a beef ranch. It consisted of a smallish building where the cows stay all day long. They don’t move around much at all only changing the pens that they lie in most of the day and are cord fed. Music is pumped into the building to keep the cows happy. Today’s music was a mix of the 80’s and 90’s, perfect music for cows.

Today’s Japanese lesson is from the title of this post. The word for green is midori. However, no I wonder what the Japanese word for redneck is?

Tomorrow, make more stuff up!


After planting, we went back to Hitomi-san’s house for an old fashioned, country meal of sushi and teppanyaki just like Grandma used to make. I think that I had one of the weirdest things that I have eaten so far in Japan, fish eggs. What can I say, they taste like tiny salty grapes. I guess it is an acquired taste.

During the meal, we got to meet Hitomi-san’s son and his family. Dr. Stapp was on the ball with many Arkansas presents for them.

After dinner we played dress up a little. Hitomi-san owns a set of samurai armor. He took out the helmet and let the guys pose for a shot in it. Although it was really neat to wear the helmet, the ladies had a much more fun time with the various kimonos they tried on that night. I think I heard one of the most frightening sounds of the trip when all the girls were in the changing room cackling maniacally while they were getting changed. It still gives me the creeps just to think about it.