Alarmed by an increase in abandoned rice paddies amid the Westernization of the Japanese diet and a graying population, a Kyushu dealer of major agricultural machinery-maker Kubota Corp. began producing rice flour in 2010 as an ingredient for bread and pasta to make up for declines in rice consumption. After trial and error, the Kumamoto Prefecture-based company discovered that using paste instead of flour could be cost effective for bread and pasta production and turned its attention to brown rice, whose bran outer layer is rich with nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and fiber. The layer is polished off in the production of white rice. Consequently, brown rice paste was born. "Many people know brown rice is healthy, but don't make it a part of their diet because its cooking process is rather troublesome.
At least nine people were dead and more than 1,000 injured Friday as Japan began to recover from a devastating earthquake that hit the island of Kyushu the day before. Several towns were still without water and power after the Thursday temblor, which the United States Geological Survey measured at magnitude-6.2 but the Japanese Meteorological Agency put at 6.5. Rescue efforts were further complicated by the more than 120 aftershocks had rocked the area as of Friday morning, the Japan Times reported. "This is an earthquake that is going to shake for a long time," meteorologist Chad Myers told CNN, adding that the aftershocks predicted through next week could make the property damage even worse. "The buildings that were damaged in the original shock have now been redamaged or reshaken.
"I want to pass on to future generations the efforts by the local people who are struggling to move forward," says 51-year-old video director Rikei Kubo. He plans to transfer the movie's copyright to the village of Nishihara for free so it will be utilized widely. Eight of the village's residents died as a result of the April 2016 quakes, including from indirect causes. Nishihara was one of the areas hit hardest by the temblors that struck the prefecture and other parts of Kyushu. Kubo worked for NHK after graduating from Kyoto University.
Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. were among companies that suspended operations Friday after a powerful earthquake struck Kyushu, damaging factories and supply chains. Flights and trains were also disrupted after the magnitude-6.5 Companies operating in the region scrambled to grasp the extent of damage to their facilities and check that their employees were safe. Honda suspended production at its motorcycle manufacturing plant in Ozu, Kumamoto. "It will take time to resume operations," said a Honda official.