Hybrid parentage'Nourin No.1' × 'Nourin No.22'
SubspeciesO. s. subsp. japonica
Cultivar grouptemperate japonica
CultivarNourin No.100 (Etsunan No.17)
Marketing namesKoshihikari
OriginJapan, 1956

Koshihikari (Japanese: コシヒカリ, 越光, Hepburn: Koshihikari) is a popular cultivar of Japonica rice cultivated in Japan as well as Australia and the United States.

Koshihikari was first created in 1956 by combining 2 different strains of Nourin No.1 and Nourin No.22 at the Fukui Prefectural Agricultural Research Facility. It is one of the most highly grown varieties of rice in Japan[1] and is exported to other countries as a premium product.[2]

As of 2008, Koshihikari BL accounted for 97% of Koshihikari production in Niigata Prefecture, the largest rice-growing region in Japan.[3]


The character for koshi () is used to represent the old Koshi Province, which stretched from present-day Fukui to Yamagata. Koshihikari can be translated as "the light of Koshi".[4]

Koshihikari BL (Blast resistance Lines)

Niigata Prefecture has developed a series of Koshihikari varieties with blast disease resistance genes introduced through backcrossing, and by crossing these varieties, the Koshihikari BL group was created with dramatically improved resistance to blast disease. Compared with the original Koshihikari, Koshihikari BL reduces the incidence of rice blast to one-tenth and the use of agricultural chemicals by 25%.[3]

Niigata Prefecture began developing a group of varieties that improved Koshihikari for rice blast resistance in 1986, and registered Koshihikari Niigata BL No. 1 to No. 3 in 2000 and Koshihikari Niigata BL No. 4 in 2002, with production starting in 2005.[5] Under the Plant Variety Protection and Seed Act (ja), these varieties and seed names are registered as Koshihikari Niigata BL, but as milled product names they are marketed simply as Koshihikari.[6]

As of 2023, Niigata Prefecture has registered Koshihikari Niigata BL Nos. 1 to 6 and 9 to 13 under the Plant Variety Protection and Seed Act, with BL Nos. 4 and 13 each accounting for 35% of production, BL No. 2 accounting for 20%, and BL No. 1 accounting for 10%.[7]

Related varieties

Other rice varieties close to its strains, such as Akitakomachi (ja), Hitomebore (ja), and Hinohikari (ja) were subsequently created by cross-breeding Koshihikari with other Japanese varieties of rice.[8]


See also


  1. ^ Ohtsubo, Ken'ichi; Okunishi, Tomoya; Suzuki, Koitaro (2005). "Processed novel foodstuffs from pregerminated brown rice". In Toriyama, K; Heong, KL; Hardy, B (eds.). Rice is Life: Scientific Perspectives for the 21st Century. International Rice Research Institute. ISBN 9789712202049.
  2. ^ Kodachi, Hisao (2018-10-16). "Japan's China-bound rice exports set to soar". Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved 2019-01-24.
  3. ^ a b 農業を支える基盤リソース-遺伝資源- (PDF) (in Japanese). Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (Japan). p. 9. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 June 2022.
  4. ^ コシヒカリの名前の由来をおしえてください (in Japanese). Niigata Prefecture. 21 May 2021. Archived from the original on 3 October 2022.
  5. ^ コシヒカリBLの導入のねらい (in Japanese). Niigata Prefecture. 22 March 2020. Archived from the original on 27 September 2020.
  6. ^ コシヒカリBLの品種名に係る法律上の規定 (in Japanese). Niigata Prefecture. 22 March 2020. Archived from the original on 28 September 2020.
  7. ^ コシヒカリBLの開発状況と特性 (in Japanese). Niigata Prefecture. Archived from the original on 12 March 2023.
  8. ^ お米の品種 (in Japanese). Yamatane Corporation. Archived from the original on 1 September 2022.