Terrace farms have existed in Japan almost since the advent of farming, due to the fact that much of the native Japanese country side is hilly, with acidic soil. Farm space is at a premium, and therefore it was necessary for the farmers to use whatever land was available, modifying it to their needs. As China had been farming rice using terraced paddies since as far back as 5000BCE, its entirely possible that Japanese farmers were aware of the techniques from a very early stage of Japanese development. and thus may have always used them.
I hope this helped.
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