CLICK for more photos

Kumamoto Prefecture (熊本県,Kumamoto-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located on Kyūshū Island. The capital is the city of Kumamoto.

Historically the area was called Higo 肥後 province and was renamed to Kumamoto prefecture during the Meiji Restoration as part of the abolition of the feudal system. The current Japanese orthography for Kumamoto literally means "bear root/origin", or "origin of the bear".

Mt. Aso, Aso san 阿蘇山 (1592 m), an extensive active volcano, is in the east of Kumamoto Prefecture. This volcano is located at the center of the Aso caldera, the most famous caldera in Japan.

Kato Kiyomasa, a contemporary of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, was made daimyo of half of the (old) administrative region of Higo in 1588.

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

The Ariake Sea (有明海, Ariake-kai, Ariakekai)

WKD : Frost Shrine (Shimo Jinja 霜神社)
Aso Shrine (阿蘇神社 Aso-jinja)


A lot of horse meat is eaten in Kumamoto.
Horse meat, baniku ばにく/ 馬肉 , sakuraniku 桜肉

sakuranattoo, sakura nattoo 桜納豆 finely cut raw horse meat with natto, an egg and some mustard

basashi 馬刺し sashimi of horse meat

umashabu 馬しゃぶ Shabushabu with horse meat
CLICK here for PHOTOS !

warishita わりした broth at the end of a sukiyaki is eaten with kishimen noodles.
see: soysauce


Kareigawa Ekiben Station Lunchbox

百年の旅物語 かれい川 Kareigawa
only with local vegetables.
gane ガネ local name for kakiage, tempura of vegetables
It is prepared with sliced sticks of sweet potatoes, carrots and nira leek takes about 3 hours to prepare!
A pair of mother and daughter prepare only 30 packs for each sunday, and is always sold out immediately. The station house is an old wooden building.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


Higo yasai 肥後野菜 vegetables from Higo

hitomoji ひともじ hitomoji leek
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Kasuga boobura 春日ぼうぶら kind of gourd
boobura ぼうぶら【南瓜】 (bobura) is the way they are called in West-Japan. From the Portugese abobora.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Kumamoto ingen 熊本いんげん ingen beans

Kumamoto Kyoona 熊本京菜 kyona leafy

Kumamoto naga ninjin  長人参 long carrots

Kumamoto nasu 熊本なす eggplants

Kumamoto negi 熊本ねぎ leek

Temple Suizenji is place name in the Kumamoto town area. During the Edo period, the Daimyo Hosokawa Tadatoshi 細川忠利 had build a temple in the area, which was later rebuild elsewhere and thea area became a large park, Joojuu en 成趣園 or Suizenji Kooen 水前寺公園.
. Hosokawa Tadatoshi 細川忠利 (1586 – 1641) .

Suizenji moyashi 水前寺もやし been sprouts from Suizenji
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Suizenjina, suizenji na 水前寺菜 "leafy vegetables from Temple Suizenji"
One leaf side is green and the other violet.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Suizenjinori, suizenji nori 水前寺のり seaweed

Suizenjiseri, suizenji seri 水前寺せり dropwort

Dentoo yasai 伝統野菜 Traditional Vegetables from Japan
Dento Yasai


More Dishes from Kumamoto 熊本の郷土料理
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Amakusa daioo 天草大王 "king of Amakusa"
a local chicken brand
The meat is also used for a "chicken shabu shabu"
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

chikuwa sarada ちくわサラダ chikuwa filled with potato salad
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

furikake gohan no tomo ご飯の供 "friend of the cooked rice"
CLICK here for PHOTOS !
Kumamoto was one of the first places to develop furikake, toppings to sprinkle on rice. They also sprinkle it on other dishes like natto and salads.
CLICK for more photos A new one to sprinkle on "rice with a raw egg" (tamagokake gohan 卵かけご飯) is developed, where you put the raw egg on the rice and the topping all around and do not use soy sauce any more.

hamaguri ryoori ハマグリ料理 / 蛤料理
dishes with hamaguri clams

Higo dried taro root, higo zuiki 肥後ずいき

CLICK for more photos

The dried root of a taro is bundled together, looking almost like a male symbol.
It has been used by the ladies as such ...

随喜 zuiki, great pleasure, shedding tears of joy

This root is longer than the normal taro roots, and maybe started being introduced after the first Europeans came to the area. Some say, the cucumber for an European lady, the zuiki for a Japanese geisha!

芋茎(ずいき) Zuiki Taro and the 随喜 Zuiki Vegetable Festival
also spelled
suiki すいき.


ikinaridago, ikinari dago いきなりだご
the local pronounciation of
ikinari dango いきなり団子 "all of a sudden dumplings"
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

kaki 牡蠣 カキ / 熊本カキ Kumamoto oysters,
There is a local variety of oysters, that is now revived to produce a regional speciality since Autumn of 2009.
From 1949 to 1958 these oysters had been exported to the West Coast of America and grown there.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
Reference : Kumamoto Oysters

karashi renkon 辛子れんこん lotus root with mustard paste

kidako きだこ moray eel
Gymnothorax kidako
local dialect for the utsubo うつぼ, taken from the latin name of the animal.
The fish has a very large mouth with strong teeth and can bite the fishermen.
It has a very thick skin and many small bones. But through special preparation, it is now sold packed with a miso paste to make a hodgepodge, kidakonabe きだこ(うつぼ)鍋 with a lot of collagen.
From Amakusa.
CLICK here for PHOTOS !

kumaebi, kuma-ebi くまえび / 隈海老 / クマ海老
Green tiger prawn
from Kumamoto, also called aka-ashi ebi 赤あし
Penaeus semisulcatus
They are caught in special boats in the Yatsushirokai 八代海.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
Also in the Seto Inland Sea

. Utasebune 打瀬船
boats for catching shrimp


raisuyaki ライス焼き "fried rice", rice on o-konomiyaki
with special toppings of miso paste with mayonaise, shrimp, meat and anything you like ... even with curry taste.
It was "invented" by a housewife who told her husband to mix mayonaise with miso (things all kids like) and prepare a simpel fast food for dinner . . . more than 30 years ago, still a favorite of the region.
The restaurant now prepares more than 400 meals a day, many for home delivery.


shooyu suiitsu 醤油スイーツ sweets made with soy sauce
suiitsu shooyu スイーツ醤油 soy sauce for sweets

suika スイカ watermelon
Kumamoto is one of the great producing areas. Before the war, a variety with a thick outer skin were produced. After eating the red fruit, the housewife cuts the thick skin off and puts the leftovers, cut to bite size, in a bolw, mix it with salt and let it stay for a day.
suika no asazuke スイカを漬物.
Even now, with varieties of a much thinner outer skin, this pickle is loved in Kumamoto.

Takamori Dengaku 高森田楽
From Aso, Takamori village 阿蘇高森田楽の里

Tsuetate purin 杖立プリン pudding from Tsuetate
from Tsuetate Onsen hot spring 杖立温泉 , 小国町
This small town is also known for its koinobori carp streamers over the small river in town and its many very narrow alleys with hot spring ryokan lodgings.
CLICK here for PHOTOS !


yubeshi ゆべし yuzu dumplings
with ?miso, rice and lots of yuzu or citron fruit juice, sometimes with walnuts

Princess Atsuhime liked this very much. When she travelled by land to Edo, she also found yubeshi in the postal station of Yakage in Okayama 岡山県矢掛町 and ordered more than 500 packs of it to share with others.

. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

miru ミル miru seaweed

Codium fragile.
Green sea fingers, Dead man's fingers, felty fingers, felt-alga, Green sponge, Green fleece
This siphonous alga is dark green in color. It appears as a fuzzy patch of tubular fingers. These formations hang down from rocks during low tide.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

It has a special finger form which later became the pattern of a local white and blue pottery,

Takahama yaki 高浜焼
from Amakusa 天草

It is part of the tradtion of
Amakusa Toojiki 天草陶磁器 ceramics

First established in 1762 by Ueda Dengoemon 上田伝五右衛門.


Related words

***** WASHOKU : Regional Dishes
- #kumamoto -

1 comment:

Gabi Greve said...

Kumano Gongen 熊野権現 Legends about Kumano Gongen
Kumano no Kami / Kumano no Okami / the Kumano Gongen Deity