BEGIN Japanology Season 6 – Ep07: Rice Cookers
Of the world’s many household appliances, one stands out as a Japanese original: the electric rice cooker. Before electric appliances came along, rice was cooked in wood-fired clay stoves, but in the late 1950’s and early 60’s, rice cookers became explosively popular in Japan. These days, virtually every Japanese household has one, and Japan also exports about 400,000 rice cookers each year. The Japanese just love freshly steamed rice. That craving drove the evolution of the rice cooker into a high-tech appliance with a host of functions. Rice cookers can do more than just cook rice. Homemakers have begun using them to put together amazing dishes. The latest rice cookers are even being used to bake cakes.
On this edition of BEGIN Japanology, our theme is rice cookers. We’ll investigate the challenges that were overcome in developing them, and the creativity that the Japanese have lavished on making and using them.
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