The effects of the ethyl acetate extract of "Kurosu" (EK), Japanese traditional vinegar from unpolished rice, on the proliferation of a variety of human cancer cell lines were investigated by using the alamar blue assay. Cancer cell lines included colon adenocarcinoma (Caco-2), lung carcinoma (A549), breast adenocarcinoma (MCF-7), bladder carcinoma (5637), and prostate carcinoma (LNCaP) cells. EK inhibited the proliferation of all tested cell lines in a dose-dependent manner, with inhibition mostly pronounced in Caco-2 cells (up to 62% inhibition at a dose level of 0.025%). Flow cytometry of EK-treated Caco-2 cells showed a decrease in cell number in the G2/M phase and an increase in the sub-G1 phase (apoptotic). In addition, DNA fragmentation was detected in Caco-2 cells cultured with EK by immunostaining. RT-PCR analysis revealed p21 mRNA expression was induced in EK-treated Caco-2 cells. Moreover, PARP cleavage was promoted in EK-treated Caco-2 cells. These results suggest that EK causes G0/G1 arrest through p21 induction and, thus, is a potential apoptosis inducer in Caco-2 cells.