Daidokoro kitchen and hearth


Kitchen (daidokoro) and hearth (kamado

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Non-seasonal Topic
***** Category: Humanity


The main entry with kitchen vocabulary is now here:

. daidokoro 台所 the Japanese kitchen .

source : edo-tokyo-museum.or.jp


The Japanese kitchen has to deal with a lot of humidity in the summer months. So the stainless steel surfaces are very suitable.

Also, there is usually no cellar to store food in a cool place and the kitchen space is very small. The yukashita shuunoo 床下収納 【ゆかしたしゅうのう】 box in the kitchen floor is special.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Each family member has its own bowl of rice and chopsticks. Especiallt the meoto pairs for a couple are typically Japanese.

Even in a family kitchen there is space for many knives to cut the food.

The oroshigane for grating is another speciality of the Japanese kitchen tools.


In a home kitchen, a lot of food of different nationalities is prepared for one meal, curry rice on one plate, Chinese-style salad on another and miso soup to got with it ...
This kind of internatinonal cooking has become common since the Meiji period.

The pride of a Japanese kitchen is the assortment of knives.


In former times, the kamado hearth was important and a God of the Kitchen was revered.
kamadogami 竈神 God of the Hearth
. Kamagami 釜神 The Hearth Deity .

31 kitchen

30 kitchen

Water was also important, although the running water was often outside in the street or a well. The God of Water was revered there.

067 running water with petals

Running water and a box for the house to keep fresh fish.
Shinjo Village, Okayama pref.

See also my story about the
Samurai Home Kitchen in Katsuyama

Suijin, God of Water


observance kigo for the New Year

hatsu kamado 初竈 (はつかまど)
first use of the hearth (fire)

hatsu kashigi 初炊ぎ (はつかしぎ)
first cooking (of rice)
. . . . . kashigizome 炊ぎ初(かしぎぞめ)
takizome 炊初(たきぞめ), takizome 焚初(たきぞめ)
wakameshi 若飯(わかめし)"young", first cooked rice

niwa kamado 庭竈 (にわかまど) cooking stove in the garden
On the third day of the new year, rich merchants would prepare a new stove outside and cook a special New Year's meal.

. Cooked Rice, Food and Kigo


animal kigo for early spring

. iso kamado 磯竃 (いそかまど) stove on the beach  

for the fishermen and women to keep warm and cook a fast meal or cup of tea.


observance kigo for early autumn

. Bon Stove (bongama 盆竈) .


animal kigo for all winter

. kamado neko 竈猫(かまどねこ)cat in the hearth  

Cats would settle in the warm ashes for the night.


observance kigo for mid-winter

. kamabarai 竈祓 (かまばらい) hearth purification .
kama matsuri 竈祭(かままつり) hearth festival
kamashime 竈注連(かましめ) sacred rope (shimenawa) for the hearth
Koojin barai 荒神祓(こうじんばらい)purification for the deity Kojin sama

Worldwide use

Things found on the way


Some haiku by Gabi Greve

memory loss
at the kitchen table -
who are you ?

2006 : Alzheimer

春雷や ガラスの響く台所
shunrai ya garasu no hibiku daidokoro

spring thunder -
the rattling window panes
in my old kitchen

Gabi Greve, Spring Thunder Haiku

snow snow snow -
the cats just sleep
in the kitchen

 Haiku Kun and his mother, O-Tsu


kanshoku ya kamado o meguru aburamushi

cool food -
cockroaches search
around the hearth

Tan Taigi 炭太祇

. kanshoku - eating cold food  
observance kigo for mid-spring


- - - - - Matsuo Basho - - - - -

eiryo nite nigiwau tami no niwakamado

by the Emperor's good graces
a cooking pit
for the New Year’s celebration

Tr. Kosei Meiken

Written in 1688 元禄元年, during the New Year, when Etsujin visited Basho in Edo. Etsujin stayed until two years later. Etsujin published a haikai collection called

niwakamado shuu 庭竈集 Niwakamado Collection, with poems prizing the emperors of olden times.

An allusion to a poem by Emperor Nintoku 仁徳天皇


takai yane ni noborite mireba kemuri tatsu
tami no kamado nigiwai ni keri

When I ascend a high place and look about me, lo ! the smoke is rising:
the cooking ranges of the people are busy.

source : Song of the Emperor NINTOKU

Basho used the last two lines as a honkadori of this waka poem.

. Ochi Etsujin 越智越人 .


neko no tsuma hetsui no kuzure yori kayoi-keri

a cat’s trysts:
she crosses back and forth
over a crumbling stove

Tr. Barnhill

Die läufige Katze
schlüpft durch den Riss an der Feuerstelle
hinein und hinaus

Tr. Udo Wenzel

Written in 延宝5年, Basho age 34.

Allusion to a story in the "Tales of Ise" 伊勢物語, chapter 5.
. Ariwara no Narihira 在原業平 .
When he visits his lady love, he had to climb over an old crumbling wall.
A typical Danrin-style poem.

hetsui 竈(へ)つ火 "stove with fire", also the name for the Deity.
hettsui へっつい.

MORE - about cats by
. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .


. hinzan no kama shimo ni naku koe samushi .
a kettle crying in the frost

. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .

Related words

irori 囲炉裏 いろり open sunken hearth

source : facdbook

With mount Fujisan as a jizaikagi 自在カギ counterweight

. nabe なべ 鍋 pot and pan .


. Kamagami 釜神 The Hearth Deity .
Dokujin, dokoojin 土公神 - Kenroo chijin 堅牢地神 Kenro Earth Deity
お荒神様 Aragamisama

***** Hocho, wabocho . 和包丁. Knife, knives (hoochoo, waboochoo) Japanisches Messer

***** Meoto Tableware for Couples

***** Mizu, drinking water

***** WASHOKU : General Information



Gabi Greve said...

I scrub the sink
with a new sponge -
rain in winter

Gabi Greve said...

eiryo nite / nigiwau tami no / niwakamado

Matsuo Basho

Cultural Keywords

Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

neko no tsuma / hetui no kuzure yori / kayoi keri

Matsuo Basho

hokku about cats

Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

hinzan no / kama shimo ni naku / koe samushi

Matsuo Basho

stove of a poor mountain temple

Gabi Greve said...

The official wife wife (seishitsu, 正室) of the Edo Tokugawa shogun is called Midaidokoro 御台所. the "Honorable Kitchen".

- - - - -

Midaidokoro (usually translated as "Her Ladyship" in English) is the title of honor for the cabinet minister or the shogun's wife. In the Edo period, the title is designated for the official wives of the Edo shogunate's shoguns.

The Position of Midaidokoro
As the shogun's official wife, Midaidokoro stands at the top of the Inner Palace (Ooku). Ever since the Ooku (Inner Palace) system was established, it is a custom that Midaidokoro has to be a descendant of the Imperial family or nobles. Excluding, the first Shogun, Ieyasu's wife, who already died when he became Seii Taishogun, and the 2nd shogun, Tokugawa Hidetada's wife, Gou (Oeyo), whose marriage was arranged by Toyotomi Hideyoshi when he was still alive. The 11th shogun, Tokugawa Ienari's wife, Tadako and the 13th shogun, Tokugawa Iesada's wife, Sumiko (Atsuhime) were from Shimazu, but before they were married to the shoguns, they were both adopted by the Konoe family and got married as the noble's daughters. This was a required step for Midaidokoro, to achieve the social status as the Shogun's official wife.
Besides the 2nd shogun - Hidetada's wife, Gou, who was the birth mother of the 3rd shogun - Iemitsu, none of the other Midaidokoro-s became the shogun's birth mother. It is assumed that the Inner Palace (Ooku) system exist as to avoid the birth of a shogun who has the Imperial family or nobles as his maternal relatives. Despite the fact that Midaidokoro is the Mistress of Ooku, in most cases, the real authority power is held by Otoshiyori (the elders) and/or the concubines who gave birth to successors/the shogun's mothers. So, Midaidokoro who could maintain her real position is very little in number.
When their husband, the Shogun passed away, they'd get a tonsure and will be moved to the West palace and lived their remaining life praying for their husband. Even so, depends on the era, there were also cases when some Midaidokoro could maintain their large influence as "Oomidaidokoro" (Old Midaidokoro). The most obvious cases were the 6th shogun's wife, Ten'eiin (Tadako) and the 13th shogun's wife, Tenshoin (Atsuhime). As it was the 6th shogun - Ienobu's last will, Ten'eiin appointed Kishu Yoshimune, to be the 8th shogun. When the shogun is absent, Tenshoin give commands to the members of shogun's council of elders to make attendance at the castle, and together with Kazunomiya (the 14th shogun's wife), she helped negotiate for the peaceful surrender of Edo Castle during the Meiji Restoration.


Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Interior Design - The Japanese Home

. Japanese Architecture 日本建築 - Introduction .

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

daidokoro 台所 the Japanese kitchen
- Introduction -

- - - - part of the entry about
. Interior Design - The Japanese Home .

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Edo, Asakusa
Hettsui yokochoo へっつい横丁 / 竈横丁 street

(craftsmen making hearths (kamado) lived here)

Gabi Greve said...

Ibaraki, Ibaragi 茨城県

okamasama, O-Kama Sama オカマ様 Hearth Deity

In the district of 那珂郡 Naka the 28th of September is the day of O-Kama Sama. On this day special uruchi rice is made into flour and 36 round dumplings made as offerings. O-Kama Sama takes them to Izumo to eat while all the deities gathered there make marriage proposals (enmusubi).
They people also make smaller dumplings as offerings for the Butsudan and the Kamidana (Shelf for the Shinto deities). O-Kama sama can use these dumplings on his way back in the region of 諏訪の峠 the Pass of Suwa.
On the 28th of October he is back to the family home.
more about the Butsudan