Incredible straw creatures invade Japanese city

Wara Art Festival
(Image credit: Wara Art Festival)

Giant creatures have invaded the city of Niigata in Japan. The stunning animals and mythical beings are all made using leftover straw from the rice harvest, and they really seem to come alive.

Wara, or rice straw, is what's left after grains have been threshed out during the rice harvest. It's traditionally used to make roofs, tools and zori sandals. The practice of working the material was in danger of being lost, but artists have found a way to revitalise the ancient craft, and create a major local attraction in the process. After a hiatus last year due to the global pandemic, the theme of this year's event is "lucky charms who give vitality to those who see them". As a result, it features several creatures from Japanese mythology.

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Joe Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news, features and buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment and software for creatives, from video editing programs to monitors and accessories. A veteran news writer and photographer, he now works as a project manager at the London and Buenos Aires-based design, production and branding agency Hermana Creatives. There he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing visual content and design assets for the hospitality sector. He also dances Argentine tango.