Units Associated with Rice in Japan, Part II/日本の米に関する単位、パート2

Japanese Food

Japan is a metric country, and rice is sold in 30 kg brown paper bags, as well as in 10, 5, 3, and 2 kg plastic bags, but in cooking, we still use the unit of go.  Other units associated with rice include sho, to, and koku.  These units are part of the Shakkan-ho, which derives from the Chinese units of measurement.

10 go = 1 sho
10 sho = 1 to
10 to = 1 koku
Thus, 1000 go = 1 koku

1 koku of rice (150 kg) was the amount consumed by a single person in one year.  Thus, 1 go of rice (150 g) was the amount consumed by a single person for one meal (1 go per meal x 3 meals per day x 365 days = 1,095 go).

Note:  Today, the annual per-capita consumption of rice is around 60 kg.  In 1962, about 50 years ago, it was 118 kg.

日本はメートル法を採用しており、お米は30 kgの茶色の紙袋や、10、2、3、2 kgのビニール袋で売られていますが、調理の際には、いまだに合という単位を使っています。お米に関する他の単位としては、升(しょう)、斗(と)、(こく)があります。これらの単位は尺貫法の一部で、尺貫法は中国の市制に由来します。

10合 = 1升
10升 = 1斗
10斗 = 1石
よって、1000合 = 1石

1石のお米(150 kg)は、一人が一年で消費する量でした。よって、1合のお米(150 g)は一人が一食で消費する量です(一食当たり1合 x 一日当たり3食 x 365日 = 1,095合).

注: 今では、一人当たりのお米の年間消費量は60 kgほどです。約50年前、1962年では118 kgでした。

Besides the units of volume, units of area are also associated with rice.  I was planning to write:  At the time of the Taika Reforms, 1 tan was decided to be an area needed to produce 1 koku of rice.  I later learned that this was not a well established fact, so let me just say that in ancient times, 1 tan was decided to be an area needed to produce 1 koku of rice.

1 tan = 991.74 m²

1 tan = 10 se
In ancient times,
1 tan = 360 tsubo (bu)
But, due to the nationwide land survey (Taiko Kenchi) started in 1582 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, tsubo (bu) was changed as follows:
1 tan = 300 tsubo (bu)

Roughly, 1 tsubo is an area needed to produce rice consumed by a single person a day (3 go = 3 x 150 = 450 g).
1 tsubo = 3.3 m2 (1.818 m square)
The unit of tsubo is still widely used to express the area of a land or building.

Note:  Today, around 500 kg of rice can be produced from 1 tan of rice paddy.


1反 = 991.74 m²

1反 = 10畝
1反 = 360坪(歩)
1反 = 300坪(歩)

大まかに言って、1坪は一人が一日に食べるお米(3合 = 3 x 150 = 450 g)を作るのに必要な面積です。
1坪 = 3.3 m2(1.818 m四方)

注: 現在では、一反の田んぼからお米が約500 kg収穫できます。

Comments on Facebook