Today's article is from the Yomiuri Online.
In the ancient times when a group conquered a town in battle it was said that the victor would sow the fields with salt so that no one would be able to grow any crops in those fields again. Turning our eye back to modern Japan, the same sort of thing happened to the northeast after the earthquake of March. Of course no one actually sowed the fields with salt, but the tsunami that resulted from the earthquake brought a lot of sea salt up onto land and into people's fields.
Professor Nakai from Tohoku University believes he not only found a solution for the salted fields, but might have found a good way for the entire farming community to rebuild itself. That solution comes in the form of a plant that produces yellow flowers and has the unfortunate name of the rapeseed plant. Rapeseed plants are known for being highly resistant to salty fields and even end up leaching the salt of the field over time. The seeds can be used to make oil or even bio-diesel fuel.
It is now time for the word of the day. Today's word is 塩(しお). It is pronounced shio and it means salt.