We generally associate Sanyo with HD camcorders, but Japan is actually going wild for the company's kitchen appliances instead. The Sanyo GOPAN looks like a regular bread maker, but it actually bakes rice bread from grains of rice rather than pre-milled rice flour. That might not sound like much, but it's enough to make the $612 GOPAN a massive best-seller in Japan and force the company to freeze sales until April so that production can catch up with demand.
Video demo after the cut
Sanyo has managed it by slotting in a cutting blade as well as the usual dough hook, and adding a second compartment - built into the lid - which dumps the rest of the ingredients into the mixture once the grains have been suitably shredded. The whole process takes about four hours from rice to fresh loaf.
There's something gloriously hypnotic about the grains of rice being ground up into first a fine powder and then a paste in the video below, so we're glad to hear Sanyo is planning on launching the GOPAN internationally sometime in 2011.