Japanese Culture 6 - SDGs Ecology in the Edo Period <Rice Shop edition>

SDGs in the Edo period <Rice Shop edition>

In the Edo period, rice sold in rice shops was not vacuum-packed as fresh as it is today.

They bought rice in rice-bags and sold it while measuring it with “masu” (measuring container).

Rice-bags are basically woven stalks of rice or other plants.


From the rice-bags that remained after the rice was sold, they made “mino” (straw raincoat) and wove what we now call round cushions (“enza”) and “goza” (straw mats).


At the rice shop, “genmai”(brown rice) was polished into “hakumai”(white rice) and “nuka”(rice bran).

White rice is sold, now what about rice bran?

It was used for pickles (“nukazuke”).

The beginning of pickles is also believed to date back to the Edo period.

Rice bran was also used for washing body instead of soap.


The surplus bran was sold to farmers.


Farmers who bought the bran used it as fertilizer for their fields.

The items made by weaving from rice-bags must have been re-knitted many times, and at the end of the process, they were burned and turned into ashes. The ashes were also sold to farmers as fertilizer.


In other words, there was no garbage from rice shops in the Edo period.


The environmentally friendly 3Rs! It seems that the Edo period was filled with a lot of wisdom.