Inaka Dictionary: 鎌 (かま) Kama–a sickle
The kama is the queen of tools in the Japanese countryside. They are used on a daily basis, mostly by women weeding gardens, around pathways, etc. The Japanese have a penchant for eliminating anything that even slightly resembles a weed. They even pull out grass (with the kama) if it is growing where it doesn’t belong. Many Japanese will cut entire sections of grass or weeds by hand with a kama, the same job a westerner would only consider doing with a lawn mower. The kama is thorough because it allows you to cut out the roots along with the weeds. On the other hand, you can just cut something back too if you don’t want to completely remove it.
There must be something soothing to the Japanese about bare ground, because they create so much of it, usually with kamas. The bare ground is then duly raked and even swept daily to keep it free of leaves and other debris. Check it out all the “ground” the next time you visit a temple or shrine.
The Japanese must wonder why Westerners would want such big yards, all full of lush, green grass–and the occasional dandelion.