The One Rice, One Soup Project

We launched “One Rice, One Soup” in June of 2015 with the idea of spreading word across the globe about the marvelous flavor of rice, in a way that held meaning for the lives of others, the way it has for us.

Mizuho no Kuni

Mizuho no Kuni is how Japanese referred to their country in antiquity ? the Land Abundant with Rice. From time immemorial rice has been fundamental to the lifestyle and to the very consciousness of Japan.

With a mix of restaurants, pop-ups, and events, our project aims to further the love of Japanese provisions and products with the simplest of means, the basic bowl of rice and cup of stocky soup ? our staff of life ? specially suited to the foods and the lives we encounter in our travels.

Our restaurants serve Japanese cuisine that is integrated with local culinary knowledge ? healthful, sustainable, and served with a feeling of hospitality that celebrates best and most joyous aspects of each culture. We’re also working to satisfy the rising interest in touring Japan to experience its food, by providing visitor services, menus in English, and special training for Japanese staff to create greater understanding and enjoyment among our foreign guests.

If your interest is in fostering a deep enjoyment of Japan among people across the world through its foundations in food culture, we would like to help you.

What the concept “One Rice…” means to Japan, and to the world

History reveals that for at least the past eight centuries, the combination of “soup and three dishes” has been synonymous with the notion of a conventional meal in Japan. It’s more than a serving style. Professionals today, both in and outside Japan, recognize that the careful coordination of a stock-based dish with three complementary side dishes can provide a full range of nutritional balance. There is a fourth element, rice, but in Japan at least, its presence is so much a given that it’s not even counted as an additional dish. Contemporary Japanese find themselves too busy to regularly set aside the time and care that such meal planning requires. One by one the dishes have been abandoned, and now it’s common to combine the basics haphazardly in a “one-dish” style, and the consequent lack of nutritional range and balance has become cause for concern.

We started Nakahigashi in order to return the “One Rice…” idea to the world spotlight; to show how the centuries-old culinary tradition of a small island nation was born and thrived through continuous cultivation and refinement. We want to know that the betterment of life we’ve enjoyed through this simple philosophy of food lives on, by realizing it through the local foods and rich culinary experiences of cultures the world over, and for generations to come. We want its essence to live on by allowing its means to be transformed.

We believe that the style of what we call a meal may vary, adapt, and evolve, but its essence will always stand out as a beacon, no matter what the time or place.

During the Edo Period (1603 ? 1868), when Japan achieved its highest level of social and institutional development, people were known to eat nothing but a simple, consistent meal of rice, plus a soup, stew, porridge, or other potted dish. Exceedingly simple, yet astonishingly complete and balanced.

This is what we propose as the perfect mealtime configuration, and we want to see it infinitely interpreted based on locality mixed with individual creativity and lifestyle. We believe the idea is so universal that everyone holds the knowledge to create their own “One Bowl of Rice, One Cup of Soup” in pursuit of a cuisine that benefits the mind, the body, and the environment; and we believe in a world to come that will embrace these ideals.


  • From September 3rd through December 1st I will be in the United States, and may be not easily reached by phone. I will be responding to email during this period.[2015.09.02]
  • Established the Nakahigashi “One Rice, One Soup” project home page.[2015.09.01]