The folks in the villages are preparing for the harvest which means I’m getting some unusual rides. Just fifty years ago, he tells me, over half of all Japanese for full-time farmers. Today that numbers down to three percent. How did they do it? After the war Japan made every effort to modernize turning tanks into harvesters and investing heavily in technology much of it imported from the United States. But not every farmer can afford that kind of machinery. The average farm in Japan is tiny just three acres so nearly 90 percent of Japanese
farmers have to take a second job just to make ends meet. Though they seem to have relatively few expenses. They use no pesticides and call in their friends at harvest time. Though I’m clearly not much help. Why do they go through all this effort? Because rice is somehow sacred to the Japanese. Historically it was so important that farmers were required by law to
cultivate their rice fields. Back then, rice was the official currency used to pay taxes and salaries. They even measured land by
the amount of rice it could produce. Once the harvest is safely in we all celebrate with sumiyake, a traditional feast. You start with a farm-fresh egg mix it well then grab those boiling ingredients and dunk them. The hot meat cooks the egg more or less. But to me the most satisfying dish of all is roast crickets. they may not use much pesticide but at least they get to eat the pests.