Tonburi Akita


Tomburi "caviar" (tonburi)

***** Location: Akita, Japan
***** Season: Mid-autumn
***** Category: Humanity


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Tonburi (とんぶり) is a type of edible seed, sometimes called "land caviar", "field caviar" or "mountain caviar". Tonburi is the dried seed of the summer cypress Kochia scoparia, a speciality of Akita prefecture in Japan.

After harvesting the cypress for its seeds, they are boiled and soaked in cold water for about a day. The outer skin is removed by rubbing it by hand.

The globules are 1-2 mm in diameter, glossy with a black-green color. It has a similar texture to caviar.

Often used as a garnish, it is used in Chinese medicine for urinary diseases and eye fatigue, among other things.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


kigo for late summer

hahakigi 帚木 (ははきぎ) broom tree, summer cypress
Kochia scoparia
..... hahakigi 地膚子(ははきぎ)
hahakigusa 帚草(ははきぐさ)
niwakusa 庭草(にわくさ)"garden plant"
mikigusa 真木草(まきくさ)"real tree plant"
chibu 地膚(ちふ), chibaku 地麦(ちばく)
rakusoo 落草(らくそう), enisoo 涎衣草(えんいそう)
hookigi ホウキギ

. . . CLICK here for Photos of the plant !

This tree is already mentioned in the Genji Monogatari !
. . . CLICK here for Genji Photos !

While on night-duty one rainy night in the fifth month, Genji and his friend, Tou no Chuujou 頭中将, and others have a discussion about women, using anecdotes to illuminate their points. The following day Genji stays at the mansion of the Governor of Kii, Kii no Kami 紀伊守, where he becomes involved with his host's young step-mother Utsusemi 空蝉 the Lady of the Locust Shell.

source : JAANUS

Worldwide use

essbare Samen der Sommerzypresse, Kochia scoparia

Things found on the way


tonburi ya ooki na ashi wa haha yuzuri

Oh Tonburi!
I have the same large feet
as my mother ...

Ise Shinju 伊勢真珠
Tr. Gabi Greve

Related words

***** Chinese medicine

Yakuzen, food as medicine

***** WASHOKU : Regional Japanese Dishes



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