Clean Rice


Last Thursday night, just outside the town of Tsukuba in Ibaraki Prefecture. We were walking along a semi-rural road just after sunset, and, not reading Japanese, I had no idea what this little kiosk was. My son Eamon said, “Well, what would a farming community like this need?” Well, there were rice fields all around us, scattered with single-family homes and small apartment buildings. But I still had no clue what I was looking at.

The large characters on the canopy say, “Kubota Clean.” What I was looking at was a personal rice mill (built by the Kubota company). People bring their winnowed household rice here, dump it in the hopper, put in some money, and this unit hulls and polishes the rice to the finely finished white grain most in Japan prefer. Not sure what the U.S. equivalent would be. A neighborhood flour mill to grind people’s wheat into flour?

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5 Replies to “Clean Rice”

  1. Ask Sarah about Iran and she’ll tell you that rolled-up-sleeve-get-‘er-done Americans prefer to buff our OWN rice. So Thanks But No Thanks to your fancy Rice Fotomats. Next question….

  2. I like it…only in Japan. They have all sorts of neat labor saving devices. Hey Lydell…very funny. You see her running mate tonight? I only caught the post-mortem.

  3. No more debates for me. I’ll find my processed cheese elsewhere. But I want to mention what I enjoy most about The Top of The Ticket is the difference between his pleasant, genuine smile and that fake, slapped-on “How ’bout Sarah Palin last night?” version. He looks like Danny DeVito saying, “Hit me*” in Cuckoo’s Nest. (*In a card game/blackjack context. I understand Blog Daddy ixnays the violence. Especially towards Dodger dugout plumbing.)

  4. You know, I think “Super” just says that this is the latest, greatest version of the machine. The Japanese are given to mixing in English words, in Roman letters, in all sorts of signs; and some English words, like “super,” are woven into the language to mean just what they do to us. I remember from my last trip to Japan in the ’70s that “benjo” was the word for toilet and that “super-benjo” described an ultra-modern high-quality version of same. (And by the way — Japanese toilets are the ultimate in comfort and cleanliness. You could do a tour the focuses on various innovations; and a class on how to operate them.)

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