What type of rice was prevalent in Japan during the Sengoku Jidai? White or brown rice? Is it the same today in modern Japan? To be honest, I've never seen brown rice in any traditional Japanese restaurants I've been to.
Post by Saionji Shonagon on Nov 3, 2013 11:44:41 GMT -5
Brown rice means it still has the husk on. I know white rice was consumed by the aristocracy. www.samurai-archives.com/food.html does not indicate where they got this information, but it states that samurai ate brown rice.
The Cambridge History of Food online does not distinguish between brown or white, but seems to indicate that even peasants prized "pure" rice, which I assume means white rice. www.cambridge.org/us/books/kiple/japan.htm
the method to polish the husk off of rice was not developed until after sca period.
some historians also say the older verities of Japanese rice were not brown but red, making it the superior of the five sacred grains because it was also the color sacred to Amaterasu and the royal family. Though it may be possible to take some color off rice with a mortar and pestle, it was not till the 1800s that rice really came up white.
It was also not originally suited to grow in enough areas of Japan to be a national staple. Before enough subspecies of rice were developed to handle all growing climates in japan, common people depended on other grains for nutrition.