Shimane Izumo Matsue



***** Location: Shimane
***** Season: Topic
***** Category: Humanity


Shimane prefecture

Along the Sea of Japan. The Sanin Region 山陰地方.

Matsue and Lafcardio Hearn
Lake Shinjiko 宍道湖

Izumo Kaido, The Old Road of Izumo 出雲街道
Izumo Taisha, the Great Shrine of Izumo

Iwami Ginzan Mines (world heritage site)

The island of Oki 隠岐, former Inshuu 隠州(いんしゅう)。

. Lafcadio Hearn, Koizumi Yakumo 小泉八雲 .
(1850-1904) (Koizumi Yagumo)


Izumo Soba 出雲蕎麦 いずもそば
buckwheat noodles from Izumo

Wariko Soba 割子そば(わりごそば)

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one third for the fragrance
one third for the noodle taste
one third for the dashi-sauce


The Japanese soba, a buckwheat noodle, is usually divided into "Shinshu soba," popular in the eastern part of the country and "Izumo soba," popular in the western part.

The characteristics of Izumo soba are first noticeable in its color. Unlike Shinshu soba, made of husked soba nuts, Izumo soba is made of unhusked nuts, which makes it brown. (With a comparable taste, Izumo soba has the merit of incorporating the eventual nutrients included in the husks.)

Another difference resides in the serving style. Izumo soba is served in stacked bowls called warigo. Condiments like sliced onion, grated radish, red pepper or dry seaweed are first put directly on the soba in the bowls and the soba soup, tsuyu, is then poured over it.

The Izumo people have a culture of combining soba and tea. For instance, Matsudaira Fumai, the famous tea master, was also a great soba lover:

I drink tea, look for good tools, eat soba,
Garden, watch the nature's beauty, and
Without other desire, laugh loudly.

Matsudaira Fumai, Izumo Tea Master

source :  www.nippon-tea.co.jp

Matsudaira Harusato (松平治郷) (1751-1818)
He was the daimyo of the Matsue Domain until his retirement in 1806. He was famous as a tea master, using the name
Matsudaira Fumai (松平不昧).
Fumai means, not to take things tooo seriously, not to cling to material things.
His Buddhist name was Myooan. He revived the Matsue domain through the production of iron goods and used the money to improve his collection of tea utensils. He founded a new school of tea with fewer rules and more to enjoy for the townspeople and later for the rich folk of the finance world. There are now some green powder tea brands named after him: Aoi-jirushi Ichi no Shiro and Aoi-jirushi Naka no Shiro.
Every year there is a great tea ceremony party at the castle of Matsue. The poeple of Shimane have a great culture of drinking matcha powdered green tea on an every-day basis. Special tea ceremony sweets are also produced in Matsue until today.

Kanazawa with the Maeda clan (Kaga) is also famous for its regional tea culture and sweets in the Ishikawa prefecture.

The Great Bridge in Matsue
Oda Kazuma 織田一磨 (1881-1956)


The Izumo region is a famous producer of menoo めのう (瑪瑙) , 出雲めのう agate stone. Many are formed into ritual magatama jewels for the imperial family.
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松江市玉湯町 Matsue Town, Tamayu-Cho


botebote cha ぼてぼて茶

Botebote cha from Izumo region
Izumo is an old name for the Matsue region of Shimane prefecture, and where the well known tea expert "Fumaikou Matsudaira" comes from. This area is also known for the wide variety of tea cakes.

Botebote cha was the tea widely loved by the people in Izumo before the World war II began. To make "botebote cha", make the coarse tea, then pour into the cup which is the color of transparent yellow, then take a chasen (whisk), put some salt at the edge and whisk the tea. And then put some cooked black beans, red colored rice, chopped pickles into the foamed tea, and eat. "Shirifuri cha" is very similar to "Botebote cha" except the way to eat. To have shirifuri cha, you don't use chop sticks to eat the things inside the tea, you just have to thought of throw the food from the cup into your mouth.

Origins of the "botebote cha" is said when people were suffering from starvation, Fumaiko Matsudaira told people to mix food and tea like this. That way they can satisfy with even little food they eat, and tea gives energy. Also in Oshima region in Yamaguchi prefecture, it is said that origins of tea porridge is when Lord of Mr. Yoshikawa moved from Iwakuni from Sekigahara told people this idea for saving rice during the hardship of the economy.

This kind of stories exists at many regions in Japan, and it is just a way to tell people that this way of eating does not look or sounds very good; however it has such a venerable story with it. This interesting way of using tea must not started by particular person, and was started by people who live there. Botebotecha is a one way to use tea for other than just drinking.
source :  www.o-cha.net : Yoichiro Nakamura

Many richer people have a tea room in their home where they serve this kind of "tea" to their visitors. The ingredients are arrenged on a special plate and each person can take some of his liking. All visitors carry a special high tea cup and a whisk to prepare their own. The sound of strongly whisking the tea until it gets a white froth is the sound of "bote bote bote".

another speciality is the sencha green tea drunk from very small cups, like little sake cups.
senchadoo 煎茶道 Senchado
with leaf tea
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ikasumi senbei イカスミせんべい
rice crackers with the ink of squid
Oki no shima Island 隠岐の島
and more
Sweets from Shimane

Other specialities from Shimane and Izumo

mamecha 豆茶 "tea from beans" / zaracha ざら茶
from Tsuwano town 津和野
The whole plant with the sheath and stems is put through a cutter various times, then all is roasted and made into a delicious tea.
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genjimaki 源氏巻 Genji Roll
from Tsuwano town 津和野

. Tsuwano Town Festivals 津和野 .

gojiru 呉汁 soup with grated soy beans

hakozushi 箱ずし box sushi
Since the Kamakura period, prepared at Iwami Ginzan 石見銀山

imoni imo-ni 芋煮 boiled taro potatoes
from the Tsuwano 津和野 region. made from sato-imo 里芋 which grow in the vulcanic soil of this area.

ita wakame, itawakame 板わかめ "dried wakame like a sheet"
They are carefully prepared by hand, dried a full day in the sun on the beach. Most are done by small family enterprizes. Father goes fishing for them and the wife and daughter dry them.
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jinzaimochi, jinzai mochi 神在餅(じんざいもち) "mochi for the Gods"At the shrine 佐太神社 for the Jinzai Festsival
In Izumo, when the "Gods are present" (now celebrated in October).
kami aisai 神在祭(かみありさい), when all the Gods of Japan come to the shrine of Izumo to celebrate after the harvest.
The official reading is zenzai ぜんざい.
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kakuzushi 角寿司 square sushi

kataramochi かたら餅(かしわ餅) rice cakes wrapped in
サルトイリバラの葉 leaves, found in the Izumo area.
Usually they are wrapped in kashiwa leaves.
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maitake gohan 舞茸ごはん rice with maitake mushrooms
Maitake are grown in 飯南町 Iinanchoo.
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Nishihama imo 西浜芋 sweet potatoes from Nishihama
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Nishihama imo jamu 西浜いもジャム jam from these sweet potatoes
西浜いもを使ったタイ焼き Taiyaki with these sweet potatoes
西浜いもを使った焼酎 shochu shnaps
いずも煮 Izumo boiled vegetables with these potatoes
The famous Lord who brought these potatoes to Shimane
いも代官 Imo Daikan
井戸平左衛門正明公 Ido Heizaemon Sae-Akira
from Oomori town 大森町.

Oki no shima (okinoshima) the swimming cows
Beef, Rindfleisch

oshizushi 押し寿司 Sushi
for the Girls Festival (hinamatsuri), weddings and other celebrations.
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saba no iriyaki 鯖のいり焼き saba boiled in a sweet/hot sauce

Sanbin soba 三瓶そば from the volcanic Sanbin Highlands

sasamaki 笹巻き/ chimaki ちまき

shibazushi shiba sushi しば寿司 sushi with shiba-ebi shrimp
served at the autumn festivals


shijimi jiru しじみ汁 shijimi shells miso soup
Mostly a miso soup, but some families put it in a clear soup.
Speciality of lake Shinjiko, where in the brackwater a lot of these shells are harvested. They are a large black variety, yamato shijimi ヤマトシジミ.
One of the seven tastes of Lake Shinjiko
(スズキ suzuki sea bass、ウナギ unagi eel、コイkoi carp、シラウオshirauo whitebait、アマサギ amasagi smelt、モロゲエビ moroge ebi prawns、シジミ shijimi).
Specialities of Lake Shinjiko 宍道湖, Matsue 松江の郷土料理。

shijimi karee pan しじみカレーパン

bread (or rather bun) with shijimi corbicula extract and curry flavor


shirozakana no sumashijiru 白魚のすまし汁 soup with white fish

suzuki no boshoyaki booshooyaki スズキの奉書焼
suzuki sea bass cooked in a paper wrapper
suzuki is a typical fish of the lake Shinjiko 宍道湖 in Izumo, already mentioned in the Ancient Legends of Izumo.
Once a fisherman fried this fish for himself when the lord of the area, Matsudaira, passed by and asked for a try. The fisherman did not want to hand it over just like that and warpped it into the paper first, simmered it for a while and then the lord ate it with great pleasure. It became the special food for the lord and local fishermen were not allowed to eat it, until the Meiji restauration.
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taimeshi 鯛めし rice with sea bream

tonbarazuke とんばら漬け pickles
made in the village Tonbara 頓原町

urukanasu, uruka nasu うるか茄子
simmered soft eggplants
uruka is a method of soaking food in water until it is very soft.
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uzumezushi,uzume sushi うずめ寿司 sushi rice wrapped in bamboo leaves
with carrots and mountain vegetables

wani no sashimi ワニの刺身 shark sashimi
shark meat contains a lot of ammonium substances and keeps without refrigerating for a while. It was a source of protein for mountain regions, where they could prepare it as sashimi. From Shimane to Hiroshima mountain regions.
Shark 鮫 (さめ) same Haifisch

yakuzen ryoori 薬膳料理 "food as medicine"
from many local seasonal specialities
Yakuzen, Chinese Medicine 漢方薬 and haiku
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zooni 雑煮 new year soup with iwanori 岩のり seaweed

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

. Izumo Taisha 出雲大社 Izumo Grand Shrine .

Izumo Kaido, The Old Trade Road of Izumo


Izumo soba noren no uchi no kuni namari

Izumo buckwheat noodles ...
behind the store curtain
they speak local dialect

Aoto Koyama 青戸湖山

Noren, the Door Curtain

Related words

SOBA from Western Japan / my photos

***** WASHOKU : Regional Japanese Dishes

***** . Folk Toys from Shimane .





anonymous said...

Tales of "human pillars" (hitobashira) --
people who were deliberately buried alive inside large-scale construction projects -- have circulated in Japan since ancient times. Most often associated with castles, levees and bridges, these old legends are based on ancient beliefs that a more stable and durable structure could be achieved by sealing people inside the walls or foundation as an offering to the gods.

One of the most famous tales of construction-related human sacrifice is associated with Matsue castle (Shimane prefecture), which was originally built in the 17th century. According to local legend, the stone wall of the central tower collapsed on multiple occasions during construction. Convinced that a human pillar would stabilize the structure, the builders decided to look for a suitable person at the local Bon festival. From the crowd, they selected a beautiful young maiden who demonstrated superb Bon dancing skills. After whisking her away from the festival and sealing her in the wall, the builders were able to complete the castle without incident.

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Kumano Taisha 熊野大社 Kumano Shrine
Izumo-no-kuni Ichi-no-miya Kumano Taisha

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

ikenie 生贄 / 生け贄 human sacrifice

hitobashira 人柱 human sacrifice, "human pillar"

Gabi Greve said...

- quote

It was announced just last night, (May 15, 2015) that Matsue Castle in Shimane Prefecture has been designated a National Treasure! Matsue Castle now joins Inuyama Castle in Aichi Prefecture, Matsumoto Castle in Nagano Prefecture, Himeji Castle in Hyogo Prefecture and Hikone Castle in Shiga Prefecture as the 5th castle keep to be awarded the prestigious title.

Girls are not allowed to dance in the streets of Matsue City. If they do, the base of the city’s symbol, Matsue Castle, will begin to shake, endangering the ancient building. The story goes that Matsue Castle’s Ishigaki contains a Hitobashira, a human sacrifice, entombed in the stonework to act as a guardian spirit of the castle. In this case, the Hitobashira was a young girl who loved to dance, and so to appease her spirit and prevent the castle from shaking, a law was passed preventing girls from dancing in the street.

Up there with Matsumoto Castle, Nagoya Castle and the tiny Asuke Castle in Aichi Prefecture, another of my favorite castles would have to be Matsue Castle in Shimane Prefecture! Also known as Chidori-Jo, it is one of the 12 keeps remaining in original condition. Matsue is superb!
Samurai History & Culture Japan

Gabi Greve said...

Gesshooji 月照寺 Gessho-Ji, Matsue
歓喜山 Kankizan 月照寺 Gesshoji
Matsudaira Fumai and Hearn, tea ceremony . . .

Gabi Greve said...

Mineji 峯寺 Mine-Ji, Mitoya
This Temple is Nr. 17 of the
. Izumo no Kuni Shinbutsu Pilgrimage 出雲國神仏霊場編 .
The Unshu style Japanese garden, which was designed by the seventh feudal lord,
commonly known as 松平不昧 Fumai Matsudaira, is well known.