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The online magazine HIGHLIGHTING JAPAN

November 2020




    In Japan, rice is more than just a food. As the main staple of the national diet since antiquity, rice not only provides nourishment, it also defines landscapes, provides employment, and informs cultural practices and values ranging from festivals and rituals to the mottainai spirit of wasting nothing and the very notion of wa (harmony). In this month’s Feature, we take a look at a few examples of Japanese interactions with rice.



  • History and Culture Fostered by Rice

    An interview with Sato Yo-ichiro, Professor at the Faculty of Letters, Kyoto Prefectural University

  • Working Together to Protect the Terraced Rice Fields

    In Kamogawa City in Chiba Prefecture, local residents and urban dwellers are working together to protect the terraced rice fields.

  • Rice Breeding Past and Present

    The accomplishments of rice breeding technology in Japan are expected to improve the world’s food situation.

  • Showing Hospitality to the Rice- Field Deities

    In the Oku Noto region of Ishikawa Prefecture, local farmers ritually welcome the deities of the rice fields into their homes.

  • Rice Paddy Art

    Inakadate Village in Aomori Prefecture is the location of an unusual event in which rice paddies serve as canvases for enormous works of nature-made art.

  • Growing Rice, Growing Recovery

    Fukushima Prefecture rice farmers Kato Emi and her husband, Koji, are working to protect local agriculture and promote the farmer lifestyle.

  • The Evolution of the Rice Cooker

    From the traditional kamado stove to the induction heating “jar,” the rice cooker continues to evolve.

  • Bread Made from Brown Rice

    A bakery in Kumamoto Prefecture using locally harvested brown rice as the main ingredient in its bread is growing in popularity across Japan.



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