History of Rice in Japan
DOI link for History of Rice in Japan
History of Rice in Japan book
Kojiki (Record of Ancient Matters)1 the first book ever compiled in Japan in 712 AD, describes as follows: the god Susano-o, the younger brother of Amaterasu, the supreme goddess of Japan, killed the goddess Ohgetsuhime in a fit of anger, then various crops originated from her corpse. Silkworms appeared from her head, rice seeds from both eyes, millet from both ears, red (adzuki) beans from her nose, wheat from her genitals, and soybeans from her buttocks. The second, but far voluminous book compiled in 720 AD, Nihon-Shoki (Chronicles of Japan)2, described that, when the goddess Izanami gave birth to the god of fire, Kagutsuchi, she almost died from the heat, but further gave birth to the goddess of soil, Haniyama-hime and the goddess of water, Mitsuhanome. From the couple of fire and soil, the goddess Wakumusuhi was born; and on her head silkworm and mulberry appeared; rice, millet, wheat and beans on her belly. This couple might be considered to symbolize the origin of primitive, slash-and-burn agriculture.