Nasu aubergine

. nasu 茄子と伝説 Legends about eggplants .

Aubergine, eggplant (nasu)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Various
***** Category: Humanity


Eggplant, aubergine, is a kigo for haiku.
Eggplant, aubergine (nasu 茄子) Japan

The origin of the Japanese word comes from 中酸実(なかすみ)nakasumi, slightly vinegar taste, and 夏実(なつみ)natsumi, fruit of summer.
Main producing areas are Kochi, Kumamoto and Fukuoka.

Its purple was also a favorite color of the peopole of Edo 江戸庶民のおしゃれ、茄子紺色.

food kigo for late summer

eggplant, nasu 茄子 (なす), nasubi なすび
first eggplant, hatsu nasu 初茄子(はつなす)

pickled eggplants, nasuzuke 茄子漬(なすづけ)
. . . . WASHOKU
nasu karashizuke 茄子辛子漬け with hot mustard

soup with eggplants (usually miso soup), nasujiru 茄子汁(なすじる)
grilled eggplants, shigiyaki 鴫焼(しぎやき)
fried or grilled eggplants, yakinasu 焼茄子(やきなす)
... especially for barbeques

egg-shaped or long eggplants, tsuruboso sennari 蔓細千成(つるぼそせんなり)
... orido nasu 折戸茄子(おりどなす)
"really black", shinkuro 真黒(しんくろ)

mountain eggplants, yamanasu 山茄子(やまなす)
"violet stem", heta murasaki 蔕紫(へたむらさき)

long eggplant, naga nasu 長茄子(ながなす)
round eggplant, maru nasu 丸茄子(まるなす)

pouch-shaped eggplant, kinchaku nasu 巾着茄子(きんちゃくなす)

white eggplant, shiro nasu 白茄子(しろなす)


April 17 - day of the eggplant
goroawase - numbers sounding like ..
4月17日 yo i na (su) よい茄子 - you guess it,
the day of the good eggplant


aonasu, ao-nasu 青なす "green eggplant"
from Saitama 「埼玉青(さいたまあお)なす」
Tokigawa town ときがわ町

This is a regional plant, also called "white eggplant". It has been introduced in the early Meiji period and used for Narazuke pickles, eaten in miso soup or boiled with other vegetables. It had been out of production after the war.

Local people have now helped to plant this aubergine again and bring it to a large size, some even reach one kilogram, the average is 300 gram. The meat is lightly green and crunchy.
The menu in town offers various dishes, even sweet pie and jam, but the traditional dengaku with sweet miso seems the best.
The harvest is from mid-July till beginning of October.


mizunasu, mizu nasu 水なす "water-eggplant"
speciality of Senshu district in southern Osaka Prefecture.

They are round and very juicy and have a beautiful shine.
You can even squeeze the liquid out of a freshly harvested plant. The plants stand in water during the rainy season. They can be harvested from July till late in October.

They taste delicious as asazuke, lightly pickled.
But it is also used locally for curry or fry dishes.

CLICK here for PHOTOS !

One longer variety of this eggplant is the

babanasu, baba nasu 馬場なす
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


Here we look at some dishes with this plant.

Aemono なすの和えもの with dressing

Agehitashi なすの揚げ浸しfried and soakes as hitashi

Dengaku, 茄子田楽 with miso paste
なすの田舎風しょうゆ煮 and soy sauce
Dengaku 田楽 dance and food Nasu Dengaku

Itame 茄子のカラフル炒め fried with other vegetables

Kajiki かじきとなすの鍋照り fried with kajiki fish

Mabo nasu 麻婆茄子, a kind of mabodofu

Sarada 茄子の和風サラダ Japanese-type salad

Yakinasu 焼きなす fried

kik, toga
Worldwide use

Things found on the way


mezurashi ya yama o Dewa no hatsu nasubi

how wonderful and extraordinary !
coming out of the sacred Dewa mountains
to these first eggplants

"After we confined ourself in Haguro-Sanzan Shrine to pray for seven days,we have come down to Tsuruoka Town. Then we are given a warm welcome at Nagayama Juko's residence. How delicious the new egg plants are at the dinner."

Matsuo Basho at Sakata

Minden Nasu 民田なす Eggplant from Yamagata


Matsuo Basho in May of the year Genroku 7 (1694), on his last trip to Kansai.

'Owing to the heavy rains of May, the Ooi River was swollen so that I had to
wait at Shimada staying with Joshuu 如舟 and Jochiku 如竹.'

chisa wa mada aoba nagara ni nasubi-jiru

the lettuce
leaves are just as green
eggplant soup

Tr. Reichhold

Basho was not feeling well at this time and the prolonged stay at the inn might have been a good rest for him.

The chisa lettuce had been introduced from China during the Heian period. Now we can eat it all year round, but in the time of Basho, it was a spring food, and served here out of season, with the early eggplants of summer. Basho expressed his thanks to the host family with this haiku.

More haiku about eggplants
. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .

Related words

***** Eggplant, aubergine (nasu) (Japan)


. nasu 茄子と伝説 Legends about eggplants .



1 comment:

Gabi Greve said...

Tengu nasu eggplants 天狗茄子
北設楽郡 Kita-Shitara district, Aichi
This is a district full of Tengu legends. Even plants are influenced by him.
Tengu Legends