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Film Features Koda Farm Story Known as Nikkei “Rice King”

By Minami Endo
The North American Post

Kokuho Rose Rice, known to be high quality and popular among American people, was given life by a Japanese American family who overcame numerous difficulties and never gave up.

“Seeds,” a family documentary movie about the life history of the Koda Farms that produces Kokuho Rose, will screen during the cherry blossom festival. Koda Farms is the oldest family-owned and operated rice farm based in California, established in 1910 by Keisaburo Koda who is originally from Iwaki city, Fukushima. Keisaburo came to the United States in 1882, experienced numerous ventures and failures and eventually embarked on rice farming, which is his familial root in Japan.

His innovative and pioneering spirit conceived unique rice growing techniques, sowing seeds from the sky with airplanes. Eventually he succeeded in producing an abundant crop of rice with complete quality control from seeding to selling.

Due to his success, Keisaburo came to be called the Rice King.

The Koda family was in the same situation as other Nikkei during World War II, removed from their residences to incarceration camps. The family immediately headed back to the farm after the war, but they found no drier, no mill and only some junky equipment with very little land left.

The documentary features the three-generations of farming and Japanese American experiences of the Koda farm from war, discrimination and civil rights movements to drought. Keisaburo Koda faced numerous hardships but never gave up the reconstruction of his farm. Furthermore, he focused a tremendous amount of his time and energy on improving the welfare of Japanese Amer icans against discr iminatory sanctions and ultimately the relationship between the United States and Japan.

The screening will be at 1 – 2:45 p.m. on Friday and 12:45 – 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at the Armory Loft 3. Director and Producer Masanori Baba will join the post-screening Q and A. More information can be found at www. seedfilm.life/jp.


「ライスキング」、国府田農場物語  試練、困難を乗り越える精神と情熱


国宝ローズを生産する国府田(コウダ)農場の3世代にわたるライフヒストリーが描かれた映画『SEED the life of the “Rice King” and his Kin(邦題:ドスパロスの蒼空⦅そら⦆』が桜祭りで上映される。

国府田農場は、カリフォルニア州で最古、唯一の日系家族の経営する米農場。1910 年に福島県からの日系移民、国府田敬三郎氏によって創設された。同氏は1882年に渡米後、数々の失敗を経験しながら、実家の事業でもある米作りに米国で出会い農場を設立。種選び・種蒔きから包装・販売まで自社で全てのクオリティ管理を行い、やがて日本米の大量生産に成功。「ライスキング」として知られるようになる。




上映はアーモリーのロフト3で金曜日午後1時から2時45 分、土、日午後12 時45 分から2時半。監督兼プロデューサーのマサノリ・ババ氏が質疑応答に参加する。詳しくはwww.seedfilm.life/jp/ まで。

(遠藤 美波)