Guide to Noto’s Satoyama and Satoumi (Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems) by Photos and Movies



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  • Soybean Cultivation on Ridges between Rice Fields
Soybean Cultivation on Ridges between Rice Fields
Natural landscape
Traditional technique
In preparation for rice planting in the spring, ridges are formed between rice fields. In Noto, people used to grow soybeans on these ridges. People came up with the idea to make efficient use of small tracts of agricultural land. Soybeans cultivated in this way are called aze-mame (ridge beans). Each family in Noto used to make their own miso soybean paste, for which aze-mame were often used. Preserved food called uchi-mame was made with crushed and dried soybeans, which provided a good protein source during the winter. Minoru Ameyama, a haiku poet from Komatsu City, made a haiku about it. The poem goes like this: “Oku-Noto ya uteba tobichiru shin-daizu.” (Northern Noto, if you pound new soybeans, they fly all over). With more machines being used in rice farming, aze-mame have become less popular in recent years, as they get in the way of farmers’ work. In Yanagida, Noto Town, this tradition is still being handed down.
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