Gunma prefecture



Gunma Prefecture

Gunma Prefecture (群馬県, Gunma-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the northwest corner of the Kantō region on Honshū island. Its capital is Maebashi.

In the past, Gunma was joined with Tochigi Prefecture and called Kenu Province. This was later divided into Kami-kenu (Upper Kenu, Gunma) and Shimo-kenu (Lower Kenu, Tochigi). The area is sometimes referred to as Jomo (上毛, Jōmō). For most of Japanese history, Gunma was known as the province of Kozuke.

The first modern silk factories were built with Italian and French assistance at Annaka in the 1870s.

One of only eight landlocked prefectures in Japan.

Because Gunma is situated in inland Japan, the difference in temperature in the summer compared to the winter is large, and there is less precipitation. This is because of the kara-kaze, a strong, dry wind which occurs in the winter when the snow falls on the coasts of Niigata. The wind carrying clouds with snow bang into the Echigo Mountain Range, and it also snows there, although the high peaks do not let the wind go past them. For this reason, the wind changes into the kara-kaze.

More traditional industries include sericulture of silk and agriculture. Gunma's major agricultural products include cabbages and konnyaku (konjacs). Gunma produces 90% of Japan's konjacs, and two-thirds of the farms in the village of Tsumagoi are cabbage farms.
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Tsumagoi village 嬬恋村
close to Mount Asama, has vulcanic soil and grows cabbages and runner beans (saya ingen mame さや豆)
Lit. "Loving the wife" has a platform where you stand with your wife and call out loudely that you love her.
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The village of Shimonita is famous for its leek (Welsh onions) and konnyaku.
Shimonita is located in the basin by Mt. Myogi.

Shimonita negi 下仁田葱(しもにたねぎ)and other LEEK
shimonitanegi kurokke 下仁田ねぎコロッケ

Shimonita Konnyaku (paste made from the arum root)
Konnyaku plant and food (Amorphophallus konjac) . Elephant jam

shimikonnyaku, shimi-konnyaku 凍みこんにゃく
frozen Konnyaku
A brick-like piece is put into a wooden cuter and cut into 42 slices. These are dried on the fields, for one month, watered every day and frozen at night. It becomes a thin slice of whitish substance.
Frozen Konnyaku food (Amorphophallus konjac)


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More dishes from Gunma 群馬郷土料理

anpinmochi あんぴんもち mochi with red bean paste
the local version of daifuku mochi.
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himokawaudon, himokawa udon ひもかわうどん broad udon noodles
from Kiryu town 桐生市
Sometimes up to 10 cm wide, like a flat sheet.
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himokawa ひもかわ【紐革】 this type of flat udon originates in Nagoya from the river Imokawa 芋川, the name of the noodles later became pronounced HIMOKAWA. In Nagoya they are eaten with a miso soup.

hanaingen no nimame 花インゲンの煮豆 simmered beans
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kaburajiru 鏑汁 turnip soup

kamameshi 釜めし rice cooked in a metal pot
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kaminarijuu かみなり重
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kansooimo, kansoo imo 乾燥芋(さつま芋の切干)
dried satsuma sweet potatoes

kenchinjiru けんちん汁 vegetable soup
also common in other prefectures

konnyaku ryoori コンニャク料理 dishes with konnyaku
from Shimonita village
see above.

koshinejiru こしね汁 KO-SHI-NE soup
with KOnnyaku, SHIitake and NEgi leek.
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maitake mushrooms from Gunma
with a Takasaki Daruma Mark

maitake gohan 舞茸ご飯 rice with maitake mushrooms
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Handmade miso is still popular in the area.
misomanjuu, miso manjuu 味噌饅頭 manju with sweet miso and pieces of eggplants and sesame flavor.
misopan みそパン bread with miso paste

Mizuzawa udon 水沢うどん noodles from Mizuzawa
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mogura daikon もぐら大根 "mole radish"
a specially karai spicy radish from Numata 沼田地区
It is added to dishes of soba buckwheat noodles or ramen nodles.

. mogura-uchi 土龍打 ( もぐらうち) "hitting the moles" .

neginuta ねぎぬた
leek with maguro and ika
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noppejiru のっぺい汁 vegetable soup


Okirikomi, okkirikomi おきりこみ, おっきりこみ
udon noodle soup with vegetables

CLICK for more photos Makes body and soul warm on a hot winter day and tasts "like mothers". It is handed down from mother in law to daughter in law as a family taste. The dough is kneaded with mother's hands and not stepped on as with other udon dough. It is also used immediately after preparing just the amount for one meal. The broad noodles are therefore rather soft and are thrown into the soup (komi) immediately after cutting (kiri). They give a special toromi thickness to the broth, which is usually of homemade miso paste, another speciality of many villages. Gunma has long been an area to grow wheat, which is called "local flower, jigona 地粉.
Vegetables come from the local community, the housewifes share their daily harvest of radish, carrots and the king of leek from Shimonita town, Shimonitanegi 下仁田葱(しもにたねぎ).


Shimonita, see above.

suiton, dangojiru すいとん(だんご汁)soup with dumplings
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sumitsukare すみつかれ
on the first day of the ox in February. Prepared with the beans left over from setsubun.
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takuan たくあん. 沢庵 pickled radish
The daikon of this area in the plain of Mount Haruna is especially full of juice and suited best for takuan making.The dry wind coming down from Mount Haruna (karakara kaze) is needed to produce these delicious takuan pickles. About 1000 daikon per picker is pulled out of the earth, a backbreaking job, and bound together two of them and hanged on long poles to dry for about two weeks. Half in the shadow is best for this. Many farming families had to stop planting radish because the young people are not there to help any more.
After two weeks the radish gets all limp and is easy to bend into containers for pickling. Various spices are added, for example chili peppers or the skin of shibugaki bitter persimmons. This is the secret of each mother who does her own pickles.
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Other growing areas for takuan daikon are Nagano and Tochigi.

Radish (daikon) Pickled radish,
a KIGO for all winter


tamago manjuu 卵饅頭 たまごまんじゅう bun with boiled egg
a sweet manjuu dough wrapped around a boiled egg, which is soaked in soy sauce for a while. This gives a rather appealing flavor.
Fujioka town 藤岡市 Naritaya shop 成田屋さんの たまご饅頭
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yakimanjuu 焼きまんじゅう grilled manjuu

yakimonchi, oyaki やきもち(おやき)
see Nagano.

Yakimochi Fudoo Son 焼き餅不動尊in Gunma

yooguruto ヨーグルト yoghurt

yubeshi ゆべし. 柚餅子 dumpling with yuzu
first prepared for the warlord Takeda Shingen.
Black sugar is melted, the skin of yuzu citrons and walnuts are mixed with kyooriki 強力粉 flower
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Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Gunma has a traditional card game called
Jomo Karuta (上毛かるた) (joomoo karuta)

There is even a karuta with Daruma san. The famous Daruma temple Shorinzan 少林山 is located in Gunma prefecture.


Kobayashi Issa 一茶

Takashi たかし

kuwa ni mi ya Chuuji no haka e eki sanpun  


Harunafuji utsuru kohan ni kyanpu hari   


source :  上州俳句茶屋

Related words

***** WASHOKU : Regional Japanese Dishes


1 comment:

Unknown said...

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