Rocha Department, Uruguay, home of Miroku-mai, is a naturally abundant treasure trove of wild birds. Hideo Kanbara (deceased), who was working to expand a wide variety of businesses focused on sea transport and ship building in Numakuma Town (currently Fukuyama City), Hiroshima Prefecture, considered the future state of food supply under a coming population boom and set out to begin agricultural activities focused on the production of rice in 1974, in Uruguay, South America—a place far removed from Japan, yet similar in climate and topography—with the intention of contributing to society through grain production. Through the help of numerous researchers and farm workers, and through accumulated trial and error using different types of product and production methods, today's Miroku-mai brand was finally established in 1996 from the seeds of a type of "Akitakomachi" rice. These results were inherited by Shigenao Tamura, who studied agriculture as part of Hiroshima University's Faculty of Agriculture, and who now supports Japanese food culture, not only in South America, but all over the world, as one of the foremost producers of Japanese rice in South America—producing 3,000 tons of rice annually.
Miroku-mai is supported by the abundant water resources of the surrounding area, and is produced using cultivation methods that are environmentally friendly and appropriate for the topography of the region. The rice is produced on a spacious 17,000-hectare plot of farmland (2.5 times the size of the Yamanote train line in Tokyo) that is divided into seven sections, with each section only being used twice in a seven-year period to prevent problems of repeated cultivation. While portions of the farmland are left fallow, the area is used as a pasture for cows, sheep, and other livestock, to fertilize the land in an effort to minimize the use chemical fertilizers. Fallow fields are also tilled with cereal grains, allowing the use of herbicides to be minimized as well. Through these sorts of production methods, soil richness can be indefinitely guaranteed, ensuring stable production activities for the future. Produced in this way, Miroku-mai is a Japanese rice that is not only appropriate for consumer health, but is also particularly suited for use in sushi, which is much loved around the world. With our motto of standardized quality and stable supply, we consider it our privilege to bring Miroku-mai to everyone's dinner table.