Hard-earned water should be passed on to future rice cultivators.
From what I hear, wet-rice farming was introduced to Japan at the beginning of the Yayoi period or the end of the Jomon period. The relationship between the diet in Japan and water has been inseparable since then. Nowadays, rice cultivation study, including selective breeding, has expanded. Dewashonaitokusan, LLC has been focusing on organic farming and special cultivation. These can’t be made without the local water of Shonai, Mr. Inagaki stated. “Even in summer, this meltwater is as cold as about 60F. This temperature is a key in cultivating good quality rice. I have no scientific basis for this idea, but we, as farmers, learned it from nature.” His brand-name rice is in high demand by many high-class restaurants in Ginza, Tokyo, or Gion, Kyoto. A correlation between the quality of rice that Mr. Inagaki produces and water in Shonai may be established scientifically in a future study.
Eventually, Mr. Inagaki succeeded in incorporating his company and pursuing his own rice cultivation with a large tract of land. But he used to struggle with a disadvantaged environment for wet-rice farming. “I have tried rice crops on the ridge where there was a lack of water supply. Through this experience, I realized how important water is to rice crops, and I should keep that in mind.” In Shonai, farmers a few hundred years ago accomplished drawing water from the mountains to the plains through the devotion of having earnest discussions along with very great hardship. We wonder how the Shonai of today receives and utilizes our ancestors’ achievements. The amount of water passing through Temisawa Cylindrical Tank Diverter reaches 9,953,280m3(~0.01km3) per year. This hard-earned resource has persistently been benefiting Shonai even today.