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The season for shinmai has come again this year. Shinmai is rice that has been milled and packaged by December 31 of the harvest year, and generally begins to be shipped around September and October. The freshness of the rice, its outstanding whiteness and luster when cooked, and its rich aroma are unique to shinmai. The texture is sticky, and you can strongly feel the flavor.

One of the most important factors in eating good rice is how to preserve it. You should be especially careful about storing shinmai, which has a lot of moisture. When it comes to storing rice, there is no better place to store it than in a komebitsu, which refers to a rice storage box. In Japan, paulownia boxes have long been used to store important items such as food, kimonos, medicines, books, and furniture.

Paulownia wood is characterized by its high antiseptic, mothproof, and moisture control properties. It is rich in substances such as tannin, which has antiseptic properties, and paulownin and sesamin, which have insecticidal properties. The wood is porous and has many fine holes, which allow the surface of the wood to breathe, taking in and releasing moisture to maintain a constant humidity level. This way, the contents of the box are protected from insects, moisture, and mold. This is the reason why paulownia komebitsu have been used in Japanese kitchens, where humidity is high and the climate fluctuates greatly from season to season.

Azmaya's Rice Storage Box is made in Kasukabe City, Saitama Prefecture, a famous producer of paulownia wood, and utilizes traditional techniques to assemble it without using any nails or metal fittings. The wide frontage and high-precision sliding doors allow easy access to the rice and provide a perfect barrier to the outside air. Also, the top can be removed like a lid, making it easy to put in and out when storing several kinds of rice in separate bags, as well as to clean the inside as needed.

Polished rice is a perishable food, just like fruits and vegetables, so freshness is vital. Enjoy the delicious taste of shinmai for a long time by keeping it fresh well.

Azmaya's Rice Storage Box
https://www.shokunin.com/en/azmaya/komebitsu.html 

References
https://azmaya.co.jp/item/komebitu
http://kirihakoya.com/merits20180103/
https://www.town.takaharu.lg.jp/site/furusato/1490.html
https://www.tansu.com/kiri/