Japanese rice cookers refer to rice cooker brands that are either produced or sold by Japanese companies, such as Zojirushi, Sanyo or Panasonic. As of 2015, these machines are generally functionally similar to rice cookers that are sold by U.S. manufacturers, such as Aroma or Black & Decker.
A rice cooker's function is to automate the process of cooking rice. This process involves water being brought to a boil while the rice sits and absorbs the moisture and steam that is generated by the boiling process. Certain models of rice cookers also have a warming function to allow rice to remain hot after cooking.