Rice has played a vital role in the history and culture of Japan for centuries, influencing the development of Japanese society, forming the basis of the economy, setting the calendar for annual festivals and ceremonies, even shaping the land and dictating where villages and cities were built.

The newly harvested rice of each season is known as shinmai, literally “new rice”. Many connoisseurs of rice say that shinmai has a distinctive look, feel and taste in comparison to the rice from the previous harvest.

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