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Okabo (Rikutō) is the common name of upland rice in Japan, but it is locally called in Okinawa Island as Jīmē and Parimai in Miyako Island (Oryza sativa L., subsp. Japonica). It is a plant, a native variety of Ryukyus/Lewchews and currently cultivated only in Kunigami district. This product is produced by the indigenous community of the Lewchews in Okinawa, Japan. The kernel shape is long-grained, and its weight of 1000 grains is about 30 grams, with a yellow colour of Lemma and a milky white colour of grains. Seeding is done in the fields around February, with panicles coming out in May, and harvesting can begin around June of the lunar calendar. It can be grown in areas where water paddies are not possible.
In Okinawa, carbonized millet, rice, and wheat seeds were excavated from the oldest agricultural site, the Nazakibaru site (701–1,000 BC), and there is a possibility that rice, and other grains were already being cultivated and used by that time.
Awamori is a liquor brewed by cooking harvested Jīmē and mixing it with malted rice and water. Nigirimehi is cooked, polished, and made into balls by hand." And Gogatsu Umachi (on May 15th of the lunar calendar) is the first rice panicle offered at the village sanctuary to pray for a prosperous rice harvest. However, Rokugatsu Umachi (June 15th of the lunar calendar), the rice harvest festival, is held to share the joy of the harvest among the locals and to pray for a successful harvest for the next season. As the cultivation is very little, treated with care for seed splicing.
In areas where paddy rice could not be grown, native upland rice (Jīmē) was cultivated. In the modern era, the cultivation of Jīmē has declined as farmlands have been developed and rice paddy cultivation, which is more efficient in production, has become more popular. Currently, only one farmer grows Jīmē, cultivated only for seed collection. It can be said that it is on the verge of disappearing as a food culture, and it has become difficult to pass on cultivation techniques. Unlike paddy rice, upland rice is very seldom in the marketplace.
To pass on seeds, cultivation techniques, and food culture, efforts are being made to establish cultivation methods and propagation in cooperation with research and educational institutions.

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Production area:Okinawa, Japan

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Cereals and flours

Nominated by:Rikuto Tamaki