It is not too much to say that Japanese people cannot live without rice.
Although eating habits have changed and people eat it less than before, it keeps a permanent place as staple food for Japanese.
In addition, it’s a basic ingredient of important beverages and seasonings, such as Sake, Ama-sake and vinegar.
That is to say, Japanese rice is the soul of Japan.
Rice came to Japan about 3000 years ago.
They had mainly two different origins: japonica and indica.
The former has the round appearance, whereas the latter the long.
At the beginning, they grow these two together.
But the subtropical indica didn’t adapt itself to the Japanese climate and the japonica came to be more and more popular.
This round japonica is a very demanding species.
Although it’s quite demanding, the yield per hectare is very high and the more we spend the care, the more we can harvest.
In addition, all the processes of threshing, polishing and preparation to eat are very easy.
- using pestle and mortar, we can easily thresh it
- rubbing each seed, we can easily polish it
- without powdering, we can eat it directly
Above all, rice is delicious and we never get bored of eating it.
That is why we have persevered in our efforts to cultivate it even in the northern part of Japan.
If you are interested in a unique style of paddy field called Tanada, visit here
To learn Kanji (Chinese characters) is always interesting and beneficial to understand what the word means.
Through Kanji, we can virtually grasp not only the meaning of the word, but also the background it was born in.
Therefore I’m going to introduce the Kanji as often as possible.
Kanji for rice is 米 and we pronounce it as komé.
According to the most supported theory, 米 illustrates a spike with 6 seeds.
When I was a child, I believed that there is a close relationship between 米 and 木 which means tree.
However, the above story cleared up my misapprehension, even if 6 seeds in a spike cannot satisfy me.
As a person in modern times, I wish there were more seeds.
2. History of cooking method
Initially, people ate rice as a porridge called himei.
But when a Chinese cooking pot called koshiki came to Japan, they began to steamed it for in celebration, that is, for sacred events.
In these events, firstly, they placed the steamed rice before the family shrine. Then, when the ceremony was over, they divided it among family members and ate it.
As time progressed, they began to polish rice.
By polishing, it becomes softer and sweeter.
However, unpolished one, what we call brown rice, has higher nutritional value than polished one.
Because nutrients included in the surface such as vitamin B are removed when it is polished.
If you are interested in cooking, visit here