Since before the Bronze Age, East Asian cultures have cultivated rice. They have grown, harvested, stored, and eaten it, written on it, sung about it, and painted it. Therefore, we should not be surprised to learn that people have spent a great deal of their time perfecting rice farming (see Figure 28-1). Such close attention had been paid to its production and cultivation that rice became an early metaphor for many aspects of living, including life itself. It even illustrates promotion.