Rice is the traditional staple food in Japan. It came from China to Southern Japan, Kyushu that Japanese people have been growing rice for more than 3000 years. Rice production became popular in Japan like other countries in Southeast Asia because of the climate we have. Plenty of rain in early summer and dry weather in late summer to autumn is suitable for rice production.
There are a lot of different rice when we go to supermarkets. Each region grows their rice that suit for their land by selective breeding. Each rice has unique characteristics like strength to cold, sweetness, etc. Akitakomachi is the most famous rice in Akita which is durable to cold and has the high quality of taste.
Natural Process to Dry
A lot of farmers in Ugo town in Akita use traditional way to dry their rice which is called “Hasagake.” Farmers usually harvest rice by using machines and dry it artificially after it. Hasagake only uses sunshine and natural wind to dry rice. It takes so much more effort and cost, but they differentiate their rice as 100% naturally dried one and sent it to market.
Harvest, Works of Family Members
Harvest is the busiest season for farmers. Harvest can be done only about two weeks in autumn. Everyone in the family come to work even if they are usually away or have other jobs to get this job done during that time.
It was fainting to see beautiful lines of rice field when I came to Japan. Rice is placed on the straight line that creates a fantastic view from train and bus. Japanese rice field suits to nature very well that it is hard to tell what is natural and what is artificial.
I learned about rice harvesting from people in Tashiro and worked in the field too. The soil is softer than what is’s looks that our shoes stuck into it quite easily. It was just like a Ghibli movie to see four generations of the family; father, mother, grandmother, son, and grandchildren work on the field together. The experience in the local community tells me so much more about life and tradition Japan. (From USA)