“Buried” rice, ike-meshi

Different styles of shubo see different styles of cooling the steamed rice. When making sokujo, the rice is rapidly cooled down to the target temperature, but, for kimoto and yamahai, it is necessary to make the steamed rice hard, so it is cooled over several hours. That is to say, after cooling the rice to about 30°C, it is wrapped in mushiro hemp mats (or put into a hangiri tub wrapped in mats), and kept insulated while cooling slowly for twelve to sixteen hours. When rice is cooled quickly, the surface becomes hard but the centre is soft. This “buried rice” method aims to avoid this, and make the hard-centred steam rice characteristic of kimoto-school starter.