Manaita chopping board



Chopping board (manaita )

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Topic
***** Category: Humanity


chopping board, chopping block, , mana-ita, mana ita
manaita まな板, 真魚板, 爼板, 俎板, まないた

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MANA means either "true vegetables" 真菜 or "true fish" 真魚 (sweet water fish). In former times, all things to eat with rice like fish and vegetables were called NA no okazu 真のおかず. There are also these Chinese characters for MANAITA 俎板 俎. This comes from Chinese, a block where fish and vegetables were stapled before cutting. In China, it was customary to staple food on a board and present it as an offering for the gods, which were later eaten by men.

Mostly made of wood, but modern ones also made of plastic.
Wood must be sturdy and easy to dry, also with natural desinfectants. It should not get scratched easily by the cooking knife.
For Chinese cooking a strong hard wood is necessary, often keyaki is used.

Wood used for Manaita

イチョウ Gingko
朴 hoo no ki
柳 yanagi, willow
桐 Kiri, paulownia
ヒバ Hiba
ケヤキ Keyaki
スプルース supuru-su



manaita no koi, like a fish on a cutting board
to be helpless in a situation.


Itamae, 板前 いたまえ cook, chef cook
"the one before the board" ita no mae, ita mae
Also called "Ita San", Mister Board.

To become a sushi chef, for example, you have to undergo an exhaustive training. Sometimes it is just washing dishes and sharpening the knives and observe keenly (minarai 見習い) for two years.

ryoricho, ryoorichoo 料理長 is another word for a kitchen chef.

Iron Chef is a Japanese television program produced by FujiTV. The original Japanese title is Ironmen of Cooking (料理の鉄人, Ryōri no Tetsujin, Ryori no Tetsujin).

The television show began airing on October 10, 1993 as an hour-and-a-half show with preliminary contests between chefs, then final battles. After 23 episodes, it was shortened to a one-hour format, dropping the preliminary contests. The show ended on September 24, 1999, but had television specials until 2002. The series aired over 300 episodes.

The program has an eccentric flavor even for a game show. Its host is the flamboyant Takeshi Kaga, known on the show as Chairman Kaga (鹿賀 主宰, Kaga Shusai). Its production values are highlighted with extensive commentary made by two regular commentators and one to two guest commentators (who also serve as judges). The commentary presents thorough background information (e.g., ingredients, past history of contenders) to give a viewer context for what is happening in the kitchen; it also serves as entertainment, as friendly banter is shared among the four commentators.

While always a success in Japan, Iron Chef became a surprise cult favorite in the United States when it was picked up by the Food Network and dubbed in English. Much of the U.S. appeal was due to the dubbing, which gave the show a campy charm that evoked English-dubbed Chinese kung fu movies of the 1970s. Audiences also found amusing some of the over-the-top culinary concoctions regularly featured on the show.
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Eiserne Küchenchefs, Eiserne Köche
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Worldwide use

Hackklotz, Hackbrett, Küchenbrett, Schneidebrett

Things found on the way


manaita hajime 俎始 まないたはじめ "first chopping board"
manaitabiraki, manaita biraki 俎開 (まないたびらき) first use of the chopping board
first use in the New Year : kigo



manaita no omote mo ura mo tsuyu ni iru

the rainy season begins too
for the front and the back
of my chopping board

Kikumari Junichi 菊鞠潤一
Tr. Gabi Greve

A normal kitchen board is used on two sides, one for fish or meat and one for vegetables.
Sometimes they are marked like this:

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manaita to hyakkai kenka kyuuri momi

a hundred fights
with my chopping board ...
kneading cucumbers

柏 Kashiwa
Tr. Gabi Greve

Cucumbers are rubbed and kneaded in salt before use for some dishes.


manaita ni uroko chirishiku sakuradai

on the chopping board
the fish scales are everywhere -
cherry sea bream
Masaoka Shiki 正岡子規
Sakuradai, tai and other sea bream and Haiku


manaita ni koban ichimai hatsugatsuo

on the chopping board
a golden thaler -
first bonito

auf dem Hackbrett
ein goldener Taler -
der erste Bonito

Takarai Kikaku (1661-1707)

The first bonito was especially expensive for the inhabitants of Edo.

Der erstenBonito der Saison, der als besonderer Leckerbissen im frühen Sommer mit Sonderschiffen von Kochi aus in die Stadt Edo gelangte, war besonders teuer.

Related words

*****WASHOKU ... Tableware and Tools



Anonymous said...

slicing up some cheese
a fly whizzes past my blade -
then does it again!


Yours in the Light

Anonymous said...

all-day rain --
I rub olive oil
into the butcher block

--Karen Cesar
Volume 31:2


Gabi Greve said...

Thanks for your contributions !

We use sesame oil to rub into the wooden pillars of our old home ... a secret told by the carpenter who did the repair. And it worked well ... with sweet dreams of Chinese food for weeks to come :o)


Anonymous said...

Hi Gabi,

There is a small butcher block cutting board inset into my kitchen counter top. The previous owners used plain vegetable oil on it which
over time smells rancid. I use olive oil which cleans the wood and retains its sweet smell. The board becomes more lovely with each cut, with each use.

I never use this board for cutting meat -- for that I use a plastic board.



with each cut
it becomes more lovely..
chopping board

What's for supper today? Getting hungry ;-)))))

Tomorrow starts RAMADAN - so, busy month for me (cooking...) and
espacially the first day (eve); cutting a lamb in small portions for
the whole month...

first Ramadan -
my chopping board to small
for the lamb

Heike from Yemen


The Kigo Hotline

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

金剛山 Kongozan 蓮華院 Renge-In 顕性寺 Kensho-Ji
The statue of Amida Nyorai was carved by Kobo Daishi from a cutting board (manaita) and is thus called
Manaita Daishi 俎板大師 Daishi (carving) from a cutting board.

It is about 1 meter tall.

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Nara 奈良県 - 明日香村 Takaichi-gun Asukamura Hirata

Two stone formations related to Oni, possibly related to ancient tombs:

Oni no manaita 鬼の俎 / 鬼のまな板 "Devil's cutting board"
"Devil's Chopping Board"

It had been said that a devil ate people after chopping them on this stone board.
Oni no setchin 鬼の雪隠 "Devil's lavatory" "Demon's toilet"
Ogre's outhouse
It had been said that the devil relieved nature here.