photo bym-louis .®
It is a National Holiday today, Taiikunohi(Sports Day). It is supposed to be a sunny day, but actually we have been attacked by Typhoon No. 19, moving from Kyusyu to east-getting more speed, seems it is moving along Japanese archipelago. Fortunately, where we live is not near the sea, nor mountainside, so we do not have to worry about Tidal wave or landsliding. We have gale warning, so we closed shutter of our windows. Japan is small and many houses have been built on develped land. The last typhoon which came last month, caused a land sliding in the new residential area in Hiroshima. We usually have a couple of typhoons in September and October. Last typhoon was quite big and this time we have this No. 19 which is even bigger. Because of the recent tragety of Hiroshima, we feel we have to be more careful and prepared. It says most trains will stop from now on in west Japan.
This is a season of `Shinmai', new cropped rice also. Shin means new and mai is rice. (One small Japanese vocabulary lesson---We call rookie, `Shinmai'.)
In this season, we can eat shinmai, newly cropped rice. Seeing swinging ear of rice is a nice scenery. There is a saying about ear of rice.
The boughs that bear most hang lowest.(Minoruhoko koubeo tareru inaho kana) It seems there are many saying with rice- without rice, we may not be able to live! There are about 400 kinds of rice in Japan, we hear there are about 200 kinds we can buy at the stores. The rice we eat is Japonica rice, which is short, round and has stickness. We cook rice and have a couple of side dish- that is a typical Japanese dish. So, whatever okazu is, we prepare rice anyways, (what may not!) Rice itself may not seem to have particular taste, but just as the good smell of bread fresh from the oven, rice fresh from rice cooker, is feast just as it is, if it is shinmai, it is so special! (we know, with the change of lifestyle, consumption of rice is declining) but still many people say, they like to eat cooked rice for the last meal. Koshihikari, is the most popular kind, Akitakomachi, Sasanishiki, Kinuhikari....there are many more! I probably cannot tell the difference, I do not think most people can tell all the difference, except people who are rice meisters! Still people seem to have favorite kind, and steaming cooked rice with nice okazu, side dish can make everyone happy.
The scenery with Kakashi, scarecrow in rice pond is a popular scenery but Kakashi by Konishi san seems a bit different.
Konishisan, a farmer placed some kakashi in his rice pond and in his farm to keep away crows-but his kakashi got attention of people, instead. His kakashi are so real, even his neighbor thought they were real. One of the neighbor said, she saw an old woman working in a very hot sun, so she approached her to tell she should be in the shade and realized it was a kakashi! People started to come to see his kakashi- even tourists stop by to take photos! Sometimes, he himself keeps still among the kakashi and surprise people...he is like a itazurakko(mischevous boy).
Autumn food is very good, but without rice, nothing can start.
Kurigohan, chestnut and rice is probably the most popular autumn dish with rice.
We wish you a happy fall!