I did it. I packed my under armor sports bag and put on as many clothes as I could fit in and drove to Fukushima to become a Japanese Farmer. Fortunately, I can work from anywhere, as long as I have my laptop. I am a person who needs to physically work. A person who needs to talk with people. So I did what I thought would keep me from going insane and became a Japanese Farmer.
My job requires me to work from 9-6 Monday through Friday. Japanese farmers work all day, preferably starting from 5 am. I still had my regular job so I shifted my schedule to help where I can. I decided to go to a farm in Fukushima and help out some of the locals. You’d be surprised by how eager they’d take you in, in exchange for help.
My new schedule was:
5:00 am Wake up
5:30 am Japanese farmer experience
7:00 am Finish
8:00 am Eat breakfast
8:30 am Shower
9:00 am Start my actual job.
While most people are sleeping, Japanese farmers are already hard at work. Regardless of weather conditions or even how you feel. They wake up in the morning and get to work.
My first day as a Japanese Farmer I dived into what seemed like body torture. It’s called “mizo kiru,” a technique used to create divots in the rice fields for proper water irrigation. Keep in mind, I have a heavy-set athletic build where I have played various sports in my lifetime. This was different. Extremely different.
I saw the 65-year-old Japanese Farmer plow through one side of the rice field as if he were taking a morning stroll.
I got my special farming boots, gloves, and my heart ready. Little did I know what was going to happen next. I was given the handles to the machine.
There’s hardly any strength used to push the divot machine because a small motor is attached to the side. There is however a bigger factor.
Waling in the Rice Field
The rice field is still filled with water, making the ground feel like quicksand. With every step you take, imagine a bunch of small hands holding you from taking your next step. Now the divot machine isn’t going to steer itself, so you have to make sure it’s going on a straight line. Also, you can’t walk in the same line as the machine because you’ll end up running the divot you made. Which means you are making a C motion walking for hours on end.
I finished one line, but I was huffing and puffing so much I started to see black spots. Alright, I’ll admit it. I was defeated. The Japanese Farmer quickly came to my side and under his hat, I can see him smiling. What he meant was, welcome to the Japanese Farmer life.
He finished the rest of the three outer lanes and I regained consciousness. I need to try again and not let him down. I started trailing behind him to show him that I was ready to give him another go. He glanced back at me with the same smile he gave me before and moved the handles of the divot machine towards me. I reached for both the handles, he let go completely, and …
To be continued…
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