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Rice Milling Room

Rice Milling Room

Source:客家文化發展中心
Publication Date:2016/07/04
Last updated:2020/10/15

Rolling over the century-old spirit ─ Rice Milling Room

The Rice Milling Room is the processing site to turn brown rice into white rice. It is not only a symbol of our Liudui ancestors’ sweat and labor but also a historical evidence of why Pingtung wins the reputation of rice granary. This traditional rice milling machine set (including its peripherals) is a selfless donation by Mr. Xin-de Shih of Pingtung City, a third-generation owner of a century-old rice milling factory. Made during the Showa period in Japan, this rice milling machine set witnessed the rise and fall of Taiwan's rice industry in the past century but stopped operation in 1994, when Mr. Shih officially announced his retirement. In 2007, Mr. Shih decided to donate his beloved rice miller to this Liudui Park in a hope to make more people aware of the rice culture. Commissioned by the Hakka Affairs Council, Dr. Chin-chen Xie disassembled, repaired, reassembled and finally moved the machine set to the Liudui Park for reconstruction in 2009. This century-old rice milling machine set not only showcases the most realistic aspect of Hakka rural life in Liudui but also takes up the new mission for cultural heritage and education.

The "Century-old Rice Milling Room ─ The Golden Years of Rice" exhibition at the Rice Milling Room Exhibition Hall tells the story of farmer Arjin and his feelings at the time when he went in and out of the rice milling room.

  

 

Rice Milling Room Traditional rice milling machine setincluding its peripherals

In the early days, before grinding the brown rice into white rice, a farmer should first separate the outermost peel of the grains into brown rice at a "rice milling room." This action was called paddy separation or rice shelling. Because rice shelling produces a lot of dust, the "rice milling rooms" were set up in the fields far away from residences. Then the brown rice (without bran) was taken to a "rice-whitening room” for whitening. As the whitening process did not produce bran dust, the "rice-whitening rooms” were mainly set up on the streets of a city and serves as selling points as well.

The rice milling machine set exhibited at the Rice Milling Room Exhibition Hall was of a new design at the time, in which five systems (namely the power, transport, screening, threshing, and storage systems) related to a traditional "rice milling room" and a "rice-whitening room” were integrated into an indoor machine set. It is worth mentioning that the rice milling machine set exhibited at this Liudui Park was expanded into 2 sets so as to increase production. It was a relatively rare case, indeed.

  

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