Saturday, June 19, 2010

" RICE SPIRIT "

"You are what you eat" is a Japanese concept as old as civilization itself.  June is the month for planting  rice in Japan.  It is the start of a  season which is celebrated by hundreds of rice planting festivals that utilized ancient tools, clothes, songs and dances to evoke the " spirit of the rice".


Until modern times, the rice crop was the standard used for managing land and levying taxes. The word for cooked rice itself is synonymous with a meal; other foods served with it, even expensive shavings of  beefstake, are considered (o-kazy) or side dishes. There's rice, rice and more delectable  rice than you could ever imagine.


In Japan , not all rice is white or brown ... There are 1,500 varieties that come in your choice of rainbow colors., which makes for an exciting cereal diversity.  My biggest decision is what shape to buy ... fat, pearl, thin or flat,  as they all have a different  texture.... Decisions .. Decisions !!!

Imagine your child going on a  seasonal  field trip to plant rice.. What fun!!!! I want to don a pair of  shorts and  a  hat and slosh my bare feet around the wet rice paddys too. ( Ha Ha)

 Each rice seedling is  carefully, hand planted  into the mud,  to ensure that it stands up securely, thus  protecting the tiny stems  from drowning in the water flooded fields.  Certainly this is a first hand education in understanding the work required to put a daily bowl of rice on the table.

My favorite part of the whole season is the ZaaArt of  celebrationing this tiny sheath of green( rice) and nurturing it,  with the traditional  folklore songs, dances  and drumbeats of the heart. It's truly a tribute to nature !!!

2 comments:

A Dancing Mango said...

Hi ZAA,
LOl.. I am laughing about the cupcake queen!
I love your post.. so informative and also inspiring..
thank you for sharing these stories!
Hugs, Darlene

Zaa said...

Thanks Darlene... Love your visits..

HUGS