Japan: Born and Cultivated in a Rice-Growing History
Rice has sustained the lives of the Japanese people and nurtured them into what they are today, ever since rice farming was introduced from China. Including the latter half of the Jomon period, rice cultivation in Japan has had a long history of more than 2,500 years. Paddy rice is suited to the Japanese climate. A single grain of seed rice, when grown into maturity, can harvest more than a thousand grains: an astounding productivity of thousand times its original form. Therefore, in order to grow their main culinary staple, farmers carved rice fields on hillsides long ago to complement the limited flat farmland in the country. Each year, they offered prayers to the divine heaven and earth for a bountiful harvest. The Japanese toiled on the rice fields, feeling apprehension in a poor year or rewarded for a rich one.
Japan has been deeply and unceasingly bonded with rice growing year after year. Rice and the Japanese are inseparable. It is not that rice farming was the product of Japanese culture, so to speak, but ultimately that rice was the very beginning of what it is.