Wednesday, March 4, 2009

30kg of Sustenance

Rice is life. We keep 30kg of life in a big sack next to the rice cooker. This particular sack contained unhusked rice. Usually, we get husked rice, which is white. But Yuki's Mom -- our rice dealer -- gave her a bag of the unhusked type because she thought we'd bring it to Osaka. The husk keeps the rice fresh. But we're almost done with our old sack so we needed to take the husk off this new sack.

Niigata is the epicenter of rice in Japan. So, this might not be true of other parts of Japan, but here you can get your rice husked at machines by the road, like jumping into a photo booth or a pay phone...shit, do those things still exist? Yuki, her Mom, and I went to this one:

You need 300¥ to take care of 30kg. First, check the directions:

Notice the brown unhusked mascot explaining what to do. Mascots are always smiling in Japan. You go to the meat section of the supermarket and you'll see smiling pigs, cows and chickens. They're happy to die for you! Anyway, you put the unhusked rice into the pit on the left, listen to the machine make a lot of noise, and then collect the husked rice on the right. It takes about 5 minutes to do 30kg:

To see the machine in action, click...

A fun night out for all. How serious are people here about rice? A couple of weeks ago, walking around a big appliance store, I spotted this:

This rice cooker will set you back about $1200. Does your rice cooker really need to be pricier than your TV?


  1. hahaa... i don't even know why they would sell unhusked rice. do people stock up so much that it sits around for long periods??
    i buy 5lb bags of rice, and they last me for 2 years. guess we're not serious about our rice in the U.S.
    and pay phones still exist! i've had to use it on a few occasions when i left my cell phone at home and can't find my friends. you gotta look for the Verizon ones tho. the ones without the Verizon symbol on it are kinda sketchy - may not work, and may be covered in something nasty...

  2. 5lbs for two years?! Chow Yu-fat would be disappointed.