What is the “Quality Okayama” Project?

This project introduces various traditional industries of Okayama Prefecture in western Japan that have been inherited and have made innovations.Among these industries is Omachi rice (classified as “shuzo koteki-mai”, or rice suitable for brewing sake) from Okayama Prefecture, which occupies more than 90% of the market share in Japan. Additionally, there is “Okayama sake”, made from Omachi rice. Bizen ware is regarded as one of the six ancient kilns representing Japan. These three products representing industries in Okayama Prefecture are notable as top quality products in Japan. This project will promote the innovative combination of these three products, and will promote the establishment of this new and appealing brand overseas.

Okayama Culture is entwined
with Omachi rice, water, soil, and fire.

Rice used for brewing Japanese sake is different from ordinary rice: The kernels are larger, retain a white core(Shin-paku) even after polishing, and have a high viscosity that melds well with the sake mash. Omachi rice, grown in Okayama Prefecture, is the representative variety of this type of rice and is said to be the basis of delicious sake. Some other excellent varieties include “Yamada Nishiki” and “Gohyakumangoku”; these are other strains of the Omachi variety and account for 2/3 of the rice currently used in sake production. Okayama Prefecture is blessed with natural conditions such as three clean, large rivers that flow from northern forested areas, and a temperate inland coastal climate; it also has some of the oldest history of rice production, dating back to 3,500 years. Additionally, Okayama Prefecture has a history of iron production dating to ancient times. Iron mining in mountainous areas caused iron and soil to be washed into estuaries, forming fertile fields. On the mountain slopes that remained after mining, “Sendmaida”, or “1,000-stepped rice fields” were made. Due to the use of iron tools, both field efficiency and rice production increased. In these ways the production of rice in Okayama increased explosively; “Okayama, land of Rice” became “Okayama, land of Sake”, and the area became a disseminating point for sake-making techniques.

Special thanks the cooperation for the Quality Okayama Project

Takahiro Okuyama
[Omachi Rice maker]Takaaki Okuyama
Yume firm co., ltd. (Rice company)
Takaaki Okuyama grows Omachi rice in a part of his huge rice paddy field. The rice field is one of the best place of growing Omachi rice in Japan. He challenge to grow rice using the information technology(IT) for sustainably growing rice.
Takehiko Nakamura
[Sushi master]Takehiko Nakamura
Kokorozushi (Sushi restaurant)
Kokorozushi is a sushi specialty restaurant. Customers can savor fresh Setouchi fish on our boast of Bizen ware which made in the original production area of Bizen ware.
Kenshi Nakamoto
[Ceramic artist]Kenshi Nakamoto
Born in Hiroshima in 1975. Kenshi Nakamoto has studied in Isesaki Shin teacher of a Bizen ware master, after graduating from the pottery course of a university. He took the prize for the Okayama prefecture art exhibition in 2001 and 2002. 2005, he stared his career as an independent artist.
Taiga Mori
[Ceramic artist]Taiga Mori
Studio & Gallery of Bizen ware
Bizen ware is a primitive pottery. Taiga Mori produce in the same style for 1000 years. He make a clay from rice paddy by myself, create a form by twisting the clay by hand, make the clay into pottery in burning wood.
Syo Fujita
[Ceramic artist]Sho Fujita
Bizen wares shop Keido Honten
From Wakayama Prefecture. Sho Fujita makes of Bizen ware and sale while feeling nature in the quiet environment.He studies the characteristics of various soil, makes to think the best form for the soil: baking without processing the soil, like texture of old Bizen, the shape which matches present-day living space, etc.

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