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Has anyone here worked ona rice field?


10 Jun 2003
When I lived in nagano , the town i lived in was at the base of Asama-yama, and there was alot of rice farming there. It seems like a beautiful art, and it looks like it is being lost as japan lets more and more american imorted rice in, as well as the younger people more interested in what to hang on their cell phones than with farming. Does anyone here have any thoughts? Will japan cease to be an agricultural nation, to be a consure of imported goods?
Japanese rice farmers are one of the big political sleeping giants of Japan. You don't mess with their subsidies and you don't mess with their land. Rice, meaning Japanese rice, is seen as central to the grassroots segment of Japan. You can see this reflected every time Japanese politicians fight interational calls to lower their tariffs on imported rice. The fact is that rice form the US, bought in a store by Ms. Tanaka, will cost as much or more than domestically grown rice thanks to these taxes. Japanese people also say Japanese rice tastes better than foreign rice, even though taste tests have shown that less than 50% of the folks who took part couldn't tell differences between samples. Until rice grown in Japan ceases to be seen as central to Japan's cultural identity (or the economy drops to where a dollar equals 50000 yen) agriculture is as safe as any domestic economic actor.
I realize the US has forced its rice into the japanese market through trade agreements. However, is there something else that is missing when you buy american rice? American rice to my knowledge is grown on huge paddies with water levels electronically monitored. Typical agribuisness,where the most is grown with the least human interference.
I had the chance to eat the rice i helped harvest on my friends paddy, and it was GOOD. I never knew rice could taste so good.
Well the rice buisness also is japan's largest social program. If you look at who owns these old farms, the vast majority of them are elderly couples who work on them for a addition to their pensions. I think its an Ingenous idea though.

actually what people don't realize is that Japan is one of the lowest tarriffed nations for food imports. I think its like +60% of Japanese food is imported. Rice though is not, because of the aformentioned social impact, and the importance of rice to the society (or so it is argued)
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