Rice is a Symbol of Wealth
In Asia rice is a natural prosperity and abundance symbol. It represents the wealth of the home.
You also need to take care to protect your wealth. For this reason the manner in which you store your rice is of utmost importance.
The Best Rice Canister
Choose a ceramic canister if you have one. You could use clay or glass, but preferably not cheap plastic. If you keep your rice in a cheap plastic container, now is the time to go shopping and get a proper container.
You do not want to store your wealth symbol in a cheap plastic container. That would be showing no respect for your wealth. High quality plastic might work.
Choose the one you like the best. It may be colorful, have patterns or whatever. It does not matter as long as you think it is beautiful.
Having a superb canister signifies that you are caring for your wealth.
If you have the choice please do choose a deep container. This symbolizes deep pockets. A shallow or very small container symbolizes that you may find yourself never having quite the amount of money you need or desire.
It is a good idea to place money or coins at the very bottom of the canister. Some may place a red Chinese money envelope containing a little money or a few coins in their rice urn. You don’t need this special red envelope; you may use another kind of your liking. The important thing is that there is a little money at the very bottom.
If you do not want to place real money in the container for whatever reason there is a different option. You can use drawings of coins, money or gold and place the paper with these drawings at the very bottom of the jar. If these symbols are on a red piece of paper they will be even more auspicious.
The best place to keep your rice is in a cabinet hidden away behind closed doors. This symbolizes another way to protect your wealth. Keep your canister hidden away, that is especially if you can see through the canister. An unmarked ceramic canister may be ok on the kitchen counter. Remember to have a tight lid on your canister.
Always Keep Rice in Your Home
You should always have rice in your home. Earlier when maids were more common in East Asia this rule was very important. If a maid was caught emptying the rice canister she would get fired on the spot.
This was serious. To empty the canister was a regarded as a bad omen meaning the household would lose money. They could be headed for ruin.
The Sun Goddess
According to Japanese mythology the rice plant was brought to Japan by Prince Ninigi. Prince Ningi was the grandson of the great Sun goddess named Amaterasu.
To mark the event there was a huge feast. During this feast the emperor tasted this new food in the presence of the Sun goddess herself.
This precious food originated from the gods. Rice is the connection between heaven and earth. It was and always has been a precious commodity.
Inari the Japanese God of Rice
Inari is in Shinto mythology the god of rice. Inari furthers prosperity. He or she is known to deliver wealth.
For this reason Inari is often worshipped by business people and merchants. Inari is also the patron deity of swordsmiths.
As a male he is pictures as an old, bearded man sitting on a sack of rice. Sometimes he is resented riding on a white fox.
The strange phenomenon is that Inari can also be presented as a goddess. As a female Inari has long flowing hair and may carry bundles of rice.
The fox is regarded as the messenger and servant of Inari. Outside the shrines of Inari there are often many fox statues.
Some statues may show the fox with a key in the mouth. This attribute is naturally the key that will unlock the rice storehouse. It is the key to wealth.
Shrines of Inari are found all over Japan. It is told that over 30 000 Inari shrines are located in Japan. They are traditionally red in color and easily recognized as there are always at least two fox statues outside the shrine.
The main Inari shrine was built in 711 at Kyoto. It is known as Fushimi Inari. It is immensely impressive and said to be one of the most visited places in Japan.
Rice-Throwing at Weddings
Throwing rice at a newlywed couple is an old tradition. It symbolizes wishes of prosperity, fertility and health for the newlywed couple.
Throwing some kind of food at the bridal pair goes way back to the Ancient Romans. They would throw nuts and sweets at the couple. In Saxon times wheat and barley were used.