My name is Matthew Downs and I just started rice farming in 2009.

I live on Sado Island, Niigata, Japan.  I came to Japan in 2002 and taught ESL for 2 years at Aeon and then 5 years as a JET in Hamochihongo.  Around 2008 or so, I had this strange idea that maybe farming might be an interesting career choice and I asked a rice farmer friend of mine here on Sado if I could join up with him and give it a go.  Surprisingly, he thought that would be a great idea.  And thus began my journey as a rice farmer.

I figured I’d try and blog about my experiences.  I’m not very good at remembering to do so, but hopefully I can make a habit out of blogging.  We’ll see…

Our farm is named Daruma An Farms.  You can check us out on Facebook and Twitter.  And if you’re living in Japan, you can order rice from us and have it delivered directly to your door.

5 thoughts on “About

  1. Downs,
    I love it. I am totally into what you are doing. I think it is awesome. Keep it up and keep me posted as to how it is going!

  2. Matt! I’m so impressed! I think you have left your original (self-diagnosed) laziness behind and moved into a truly Japanese workaholic world! Must be the mud, the fresh air, and the quest for riches. It suits you.

  3. Is really nice to get some news. The hat’s all wrong but I guess that is okay. Haven’t had any farmers in the family for generations, but I guess you can farm for the family when the big one hits. Shirley retired this year from school teaching-couldn’t take it any more.

    Uncle Don

  4. Hey Mike! I was yome to a legacy home on a hillside of kanai machi. I married at yahatakan in Sawada in 1982. It’s a really long story but I spent a lot of time on Sado when there was only one other Caucasian on the entire island. Exactly where are your fields?

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