taue or rice planting
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The cultivation of rice has quite a long history, more than 2,000 years, in Japan.
So, rice and Japanese has been kept very deep and tight.relationship.
As rice crops were affected by the forces of nature very seriously,
various kinds of prayer ceremonies were offered to the gods through the year.
These rites has still kept in our .annual events.

A picture on the top shows us the traditional way of rice planting.

The kanji (means rice ) is resolved into three parts, A@and . This combination of
kanji ( Chinese charactor )means 88. It symbolick shows us
there are 88 process (means "a lot" ) while they raise rice

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There are two types of rice.
One is indica, long and not glutinous, mainly produced in tropical area in Asia,
and most of the indica which is used for pilaf, paella, etc. in Japan is imported from Thailand.
The other is japonica, round and gulutinous, mainly produced in high latitudes include Japan.

Japonica also has two kinds.
One is uruchi-mai which is used for daily meals, sushi, etc.
and the other is mochi-gome which is more glutinous and used for rice cake, etc.


1: .measure the amount of rice

* Traditionally [] (gou) is used for measuring rice
Check your rice cooker

= 180 cc.
1 cup = 200 cc

2: wash the rice with cold water several times.

* Don't use detergent.

* For the first time, rinse and drain the rice quickly
since it will absorb almost 60% of water of its capacity.
The first couple times you wash the rice,
the water will turn a milky color.
When the water no longer turns this color, the rice is clean.

* To wash it, put the rice in a kettle or bowl,
stir cold water into the container, and then quickly drain it.

* Wash the rice by kneading it with your palm,
in the same motion as you'd wash a cloth using washboard

3: Put the rice in the bowl inside the rice cooker with 1.2 times of
water ( check the graduation on the bowl)
and let it sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour
(I keep rice in water for at least 30 minutes)

put the rice in the basket and let it sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
then return it into a kettle and
pour water1.2 times of rice
( the proper way )

* New rice keep water a lot itsself, so reduce water a little bit.
Check the kettle in a rice cooker, there is graduation

5: Turn on the button of the rice cooker
if you don't use a rice cooker
first cook with a small flame, and then with bigger flames.
After turn off the gas and let it sit
for approximatery 10 minutes as it is.

6: As soon as it cooked, stir rice lightly in order
to release the surplus water among the rice.

7: Rice changes its name when it is cooked.
Before rice is cooked, we call it " kome" or "o-kome,"
but after it is cooked, we call rice "gohan"

8: When you serve rice in a rice bowl with a rice paddle,
subdivide it in two or three times and make it fluffier.

Don't press rice with a rive paddle.
Also, don't take off rice attached on the rice paddle with the rim of a rice bowl,
and dont serve a bowl piled full of rice, since that's the way it's prepared for dead people.

9: Greetings

* Before you eat meals, please say " Itadakimasu ( I humbly recieve)"
to express your gratitude for the blessings of nature, the farmers who produce rice,
the person who cooked and served the meal, the person who earned
money to put the meal on the table, etc.
After the meal, please say " Gochisousama deshita ( Thank you for the delicious meal)"
to express your gratitude for the hospitality of the
person who cooked etc ( the same with above)

* At a restaurant you don't need to say " Itadakimasu " or
"Gochisousamadeshita". unless you know that someone will pay for you in advance.
In this case, you should say those words to that person.
Sometimes, depending on the atmosphere or situation,
just say "gochisousama"at the entrance or to a cashier.

10: When you ask another bowl of rice, please say "Okawari o onegaishimasu "
and leave a little bit of rice in your rice bowl.

This is a sign to show that you plan to eat more. ( formal way)

11: In a Western style meal, lifting up plates or dishes is not considered good manners.
but when you eat Japanese food this is not considered impolite.
In fact, it's customary to hold a rice bowl in your hand while eating.

How to use chopsticks