Hyogo Prefecture


Hyogo Prefecture (Hyoogo) 兵庫

Hyōgo Prefecture (兵庫県, Hyōgo-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region on Honshū island. The capital is Kobe.
The prefecture's name was previously alternately spelled as Hiogo.

Present-day Hyōgo Prefecture includes the former provinces of Harima, Tajima, Awaji, and parts of Tamba and Settsu.

In 1180, near the end of the Heian Period, Emperor Antoku, Taira no Kiyomori, and the Imperial court moved briefly to Fukuhara, in what is now the city of Kobe. There the capital remained for five months.

Himeji Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is in the city of Himeji.

The Ako Han, home of the 47 Ronin, is in Hyōgo Prefecture.

Southern Hyōgo Prefecture was severely devastated by the magnitude 7.2 Great Hanshin earthquake of 1995, which destroyed major parts of Kobe and Awaji, as well as Takarazuka and neighboring Osaka prefecture, killing nearly 5500 people.

Hyōgo Prefecture has many heavy industries, metal and medical, and Kobe is one of the largest ports in Japan.
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Izumo Kaido 出雲街道 The Old Trade Road of Izumo
It starts in Himeji.

Daruma Dolls from Himeji and more about Himeji Castle.


Regional dishes from Hyogo 兵庫の郷土料理
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aamonod toosuto アアモンドトースト toast with almonds
the almonds are hacked to small pieces, some sugar and butter is added and all is toasted for a sweet breakfast snack.
This dish was brought to Himeji by a coffe maker, who ate it in America and told about this to his local coffee shop owner, in about 1950. Now it is part of the Himeji morning culture.

Akashi dai 明石ダイ Tai sea bream from Akashi
The sea around Akashi 明石海峡 is full of nutrition for seafood and fish.
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Akashiyaki 明石焼 / 明石焼き octopus dumplings from Akashi
Akashi no tamagoyaki 明石の卵焼き
In the local dialect, Akashiyaki is called "tamagoyaki 玉子焼", fried egg.
It is made from wheat, eggs and pieces of fresh Akashi octopus. It is fried in a special pan to make round balls. They are dipped in a dashi broth made from kombu.
Takoyaki たこ焼き is a festival fare all over Japan.


. Arima onsen 有馬温泉 Arima Hot Spring .

Matsutake Konbu 松茸昆布 
Japanese mushroom and sea weeds

tansan senbei 炭酸センベイ carbonated crackers


botan nabe ボタン鍋 hodgepodge with wild boar
"peony hodgepodge" for the pious Buddhists
with meat from the wild boars of the Tanba Sasayama 丹波篠山 area.
This area is also famous for the large sweet chestnuts 丹波栗.
There is a famous folk song about this hodgepodge.
yuki ga chirachira Tanbo no sato de
shishi ga tobikomu botan nabe

densuke でんすけ big eel dishes
densuke anago でんすけ穴子 / 伝助穴子
especially large sea eel from the Harima Nada Open Sea 播磨灘.
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ikanago no kugini いかなごのくぎ煮 boiled sand eel
Ammodytes personatus
speciality of Akashi. The boiled small fish look like a nail, hence the name, meaning "boiled nails"
Once simmered, it can be kept for a long time and is rich in calcium.
Sand lance
japanischer Sandaal
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Kobe biifu 神戸ビーフ(ステーキ) Kobe Beef steak
Kobe beef (神戸ビーフ, Kōbe Bīfu)
refers to beef from the black Tajima-ushi breed of Wagyu cattle, raised according to strict tradition in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. Kobe beef is renowned for its flavour, tenderness, and fatty well-marbled texture. Kobe beef can be prepared as steak, sukiyaki, shabu shabu, sashimi, teppanyaki and more.

Kobe beef in Japan is registered trademark by Kobe beef distribution promotion conference.[2] It must fulfill all the conditions as follows:[3]

Tajima cattle born in Hyōgo Prefecture
Fed by farm in Hyōgo Prefecture
Bullock or Virgin cow, meant to purify the beef
Processed at slaughterhouse in Kobe, Nishinomiya, Sanda, Kakogawa and Himeji in Hyōgo Prefecture.
Marbling ratio called BMS[4] is level 6 and above.
Meat Quality Score[4] is A or B
Gross weight of beef is 470 kg or below.
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Beef (gyuuniku) Rindfleisch

Koobe wain 神戸ワイン wine from Kobe city
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Kobe City took the initiative to by developing regional agriculture and tourism with independent wineries as well has launching city-brand products.
Major wine producing regions of Japan

Kobe wain karee 神戸ワインカレー beef curry with Kobe wine
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Himeji 姫路名物『お城やき』O-Shiro-Yaki
Castle waffles

Izushi Soba 出石そば

kanisuki, kani suki カニすき hodgepodge with crabs
The famous matsubagani 松葉ガニ from the Sea of Japan side of the prefecture are used.
They are a kind of large zuwaigani queen crabs.
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katsumeshi, katsu-meshi かつめし cutelett on rice
from Kakogawa 加古川市
Cooked rice is places on a plate, then a cutelett from beef is placed on it, cut in mouthsize pieces and covered with a demiglace sauce. It is eaten with chopsticks in a strange mix of east meets west.
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kuromameni, kuromame-ni 黒豆煮 boiled black beans
from the Tanba region 丹波地方 (Tamba), which is most famous for these black beans.
They are quite large and the outer skin does not break open during cooking. Essential ingredient for the New Year dishes.
WASHOKU ... kuromame dishes

okonomiyaki お好み焼き "Japanese pizza", Japanese omelett
eaten with sauce and mayonnaise

sabazushi, saba sushi 鯖寿司 mackerel sushi
Made with fish from the Akashi sea and around Awaji Island.

Somen そうめん、素麺 thin noodles

Tajima gyuu 但馬牛 beef from Tajima


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

takotsubo ya hakanaki yume o natsu no tsuki

an octopus pot ---
inside, a short-lived dream
under the summer moon

Tr. Ueda

- in memory of the Heike clan, who perished at Suma beach

. WKD : Octopus (tako 蛸) .

蝸牛 角ふりわけよ 須磨明石
katatsuburi tsuno furiwake yo Suma Akashi

The land snail waving
his horns, stretched out between
Suma and Akashi!

Which is prefaced by,
“The distance between Suma and Akashi is so close that we can reach it by crawling. Now I understand it.”
In fact, Akashi is about 12 km to the west of Suma. Basho in all probability derived his haiku from the Tale of Genji, chapter Suma, and from Chuang-tzu's story of “the Fighting on the Horns of a Snail.” It has also been said to come from a poem of Po Chu I, which I have been unable to trace.
- Tr. and Comment - Bill Wyatt

. Basho - in Suma Ura Park 須磨浦公園 .

ashi aroote tsui akeyasuki marune kana

I washed my feet
and already the night is over
after a good sleep . . .

Basho was on his last spot of the journey in the summer of 1688 貞亨5年夏. He had reached his lodgings and was looking forward to a long sleep, but the short nights of summer . . .
The cut marker KANA is at the end of line 3.

tsuki aredo rusu no yoo nari Suma no natsu

Though the moon is full
there seems an absence -
Suma in summer

Tr. Aitken

Written in 元禄元年, Basho age 45

There is a famous waka

- - - - -

tsuki mite mo mono tarawazu ya Suma no natsu

the moon still is
though it seems far from home
Suma in summer

Tr. Barnhill

Written in 元禄元年, Basho age 45

Oi no Kobumi 笈の小文
. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .

. WKD : akeyasushi 明易し "dawn comes early" .
kigo for summer


honobono to Akashi no ura no asagiri ni
shima kagureyuku fune o shizo omou


Faintly with the dawn
That glimmers on Akashi Bay,
In the morning mist
A boat goes hidden by the isle -
And my thoughts go after it.

Tr. Edwin A. Cranston

. 柿本人麻呂 Kakinomoto Hitomaro .
Hitomaru 人丸 / 人麿 / Waka poet, (c. 662 – 710)

hono-bono to akashi ga ura no namako kana

gliding dimly
in Akashi Bay...
a sea slug

Or: "sea slugs."
Robin D. Gill points out that this haiku alludes to a traditional waka poem about a boat drifting off into the mist, vanishing among the rocky islands of Akashi Bay. The poem begins: hono-bono to akashi no ura no asa giri ni... ("Dimly in the morning mist of Akashi Bay...").
For Robin's discussion, see Rise, Ye Sea Slugs (Key Biscayne, Florida: Paraverse Press, 2003) 281-83. Shinji Ogawa adds that the waka is #409 of the Kokinshu. "Knowing the beautiful poetic scene, Issa replaced the boat with a sea slug."
A wonderful comic twist.
- - - - - Tr. and comment : David Lanoue

. Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 in Edo .

Related words

***** WASHOKU : Regional Japanese Dishes

***** . Folk Toys from HYOGO - Kobe, Himeji .



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