Since 1987, we were planting rice, staying close to the roots of Japan. We own about 2/3 of an acre in the form of 5 descending fields in a narrow, barely accessible valley. We planted by hand, in the old fashioned way. In the first year, we, and one more couple, did the whole work by ourselves. Back breaking work, not all that romantic. Pests, weeds and diseases attacked the rice plants. Rabbits, deer and wild boar were taking their undeserved share. Typhoons spoiled the harvest. Later, we had a different system. Every year on May 3rd, a holiday, we had a rice planting party.

Over100 friends and friends of friends came for the day to fill the valley with laughter, plant and eat and drink. In a good year we harvested close to a ton of rice. We had a lot of mouths to feed, aside from our family.
We have thousands of guests a year at our Kayabuki concerts. It has become tradition that each guest receives one o-nigiri (a riceball) at the end of a concert.

Making rice in a village of Hodowara

That was fun. But after Ernst Seiler passed away, it has become a fallow field.
Bonds with many friends brought up by rice planting are treasures born in Hodowara.

"Onigiri" after the Kayabuki concert

For concert guests, we serve delicious rice balls from Goma Village.