Japanese Rice - Connected to Nature

For thousands of years, it is the main ingredient in the daily diet of the Japanese culture, a national symbol of a nation connected by and through nature. Rice. In the simplicity of the art of rice planting, and the cultivation that brought Japan to another art form within the food industry, it is the ordinary that we honor. It is not just a seed that is planted and patiently watch grow - it is thousands of hours of work as the process of growing and harvesting rice is tedious while  meticulous care is given. Then enter the artist that turns the ordinary into an artistic expression, whether it is sushi rice or Onigiri, Japanese Rice Balls, it is the essence of the energy that connects all the way back to the water fields where the rice was once planted.
Japanese rice refers to a number of short-grain cultivars of Japonica rice which are grown in Japan. The two main categories of Japanese rice are ordinary rice and glutinous rice. In southern Japan the rice season is from April -September. About 85% of the 2.3 million farms in Japan plant rice yearly. Improved varieties of rice are grown in almost all prefectures in Japan. The most widely planted variety is Koshihikari. Onigiri, Japanese rice balls are very popular as are Yaki Onigiri, grilled rice balls. 
My frequent visits to Matuswa in Arlington Heights, I am always amazed to find something new or learn  about the different varieties of rice. It is an experience in itself, as I find myself examining the packages and trying new varieties at  home in my rice cooker.
I still don't have the art of it quite perfect yet. I think I need to take some rice "lessons" or continue my research until I can get it right ever time. Just like the workers in the rice fields, patience and perseverance prevails.
Love and Light...

 copyright 2013 by  MaryEllen Malinowski, Zen Living by design | Infrared Light Int'l   infraredlight.com  M@infraredlight.com


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