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Shiogama has prospered as the home of the Shiogama Shrine and as a harbour city.In ancient times a god named Shiotsuchi no oji no kami, is said to have come to Shiogama and to have taught the people how to make salt. Shiogama, meaning salt caldron, derived its name from this legend.Today, the ancient salt making ritual is still performed every July at the Okama Shrine in Shiogama.
Shiogama Myoojin (塩釜明神, 鹽竈明神)
WDK : Sail-cord Festival (hote matsuri). Shiogama


Salt in used as a means to purify a place in Japanese culture.

Sumo wrestlers throw a hand full of salt in the ring before the battle, to purify it of any negative feelings the arena may hold from past bouts .

More about ritual use of SALT worldwide here:
© Wor. H. Meij

After a funeral, visitors get a small package of salt to purify themselves before they return home. O-kiyomejio お清め塩 .

Morishio (morijio 盛り塩) - a symbolic mound of salt at the side of the entrance to a Japanese restaurant.

According to the story, there was once a Chinese emperor who had 3,000 concubines waiting in little houses outside the palace gates. Every night the emperor would set out in an ox cart to visit one or the other of them. One clever concubine, knowing that animals are fond of salt, decided to improve her odds of a royal rendezvous by putting salt outside her door. The imperial ox made a beeline for the salt and couldn't be budged, so, while the emperor may have had a different destination in mind, he ended up spending the night with her.
Morijio ... more details are HERE !


salt with kurome (seaweed), kuromejio くろめ塩

くろめ(黒海布/黒布/黒菜) クロメ
kurome is a kind of konbu. It is powdered and mixed with salt.
The mixture is eaten with fresh sea-urchin eggs (uni).

salt with seaweed 藻塩 mojio
eaten with tempura
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Records of this salt

Prepared first in Yamato by the god 塩推之神.

salt with macha green tea powder 抹茶塩 machajio
eaten with tempura
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Salt-tasting Jizo Bosatsu
Shioname Jizo 塩嘗地蔵

This is a small statue in the neighbourhood of Kamakura, where I used to live closeby in the mountains of Juniso.
It is at the foot of the Asahina pass road from Kamakura to the Bay of Tokyo.

This strangely named statue stands within the grounds of Kosokuji Temple. It is enshrined in a small wooden house, together with six smaller Jizo, the Roku Jizo (六地蔵), guardian deities of the Six Realms of the afterlife:
Hell (地獄), Hungry Spirits (餓鬼), Animals (畜生), Bellicose Spirits (阿修羅), Human Beings (人間), and Heaven (天).

In earlier days, the statue stood beside the main road where many people passed by. The name of this Jizo derives from the following story: In the early days, salt sellers offered the Jizo a portion of their salt on their way to the town of Kamakura because they hoped for a successful trade. On their return, they always noticed that the salt was gone. They innocently believed Jizo had graciously tasted it and would give them luck. The legend attests the importance of this road for transportation of daily necessities such as salt.
Look at more photos of the area here:
 © Kamakura: History & Historic Sites


Tobacco and Salt Museum
Shibuya, Tokyo

The Tobacco and Salt museum might seem a bit of a quirky museum to outsiders but to the Japannese both of these products have been very important in Japanese culture and trade for centuries. This museum traces the history and the importance of both tobacco and salt and its relationship with man.

The third floor is all about salt, its production and uses and its importance to us all. Thre are dioramas and detailed displays which explain salt harvest technologies and the worlds relieance on this natural resource. Japan harvests all of its salt from the sea while many countries expecially in Europe or Asia have natural deposists which they mine. The Japanese are facinated by these salt caves. Some of the displays show the amazing imagination used to create clever salt extraction methods from sea water.

By comparison with other heavily populated parts of the world, Japan has always been at a disadvantage, for it has no known rock-salt deposits or other terrestrial salt sources, while its relatively low median temperatures and heavy rainfall make reliance on natural evaporation impracticable.

Until relatively recent times, importation of salt from abroad was difficult if not impossible, due to the island nation's distance from the continent. Thus, Japan was forced to develop its own salt technology, some aspects of which are not found elswhere.

In general, Japanese salt production was carried on in two stage First, various methods were utilized to produce a heavily condensed saline solution from ordinary sea water; in the second stage, this salt concentrate was boiled down to yield a residue of edible sea salt.

Even with the universal mechanisation in use today, these two processes still form the groundwork of salt manufacture in Japan; the search for increased efficiency in extracting salt from sea water continues to challege the ingenuity of contemporary scientists and technician. The scope of their research is not limited to edible salt production alone, for the growing significance of soda and soda derivatives in modern industry has if anything, increased the importance of salt as one of the indispensable raw materials necessary for the advanced technology of today.

Tobacco and Salt Museum


Shio no michi 塩の道 The Salt Road  
"Chikuni Kaido" 'chikuni kaidoo 千国街道(ちくにかいどう)
From Niigata to Matsumoto in Nagano


The Salt-boiling Islands, Shiwaku Shotoo (塩飽諸島)
The group is situated between Okayama Prefecture and Kagawa Prefecture in the western Bisan Seto and consists of 28 islands of various sizes. On the Okayama side lie the Kasaoka Islands. The name derives from shioyaku (塩焼く, shioyaku) or shiowaku (潮湧く, shiowaku) both meaning boiling seawater to get salt.

Shamijima 沙弥島
Due to a land reclamation of the Sakaide Bannosu (番の州, Bannosu?) industrial area in December 1967, the island became connected to the adjacent land. Adjoining, the island services the Seto Ohashi Memorial Park. In summer the island is crowded by guests who come to bath in the sea. From the Jomon period on the salt making culture developed. At Nakanda beach (ナカンダ浜, nakanda-hama) earthenware and other finds from that time have been excavated.

The Man'yōshū poet Kakinomoto no Hitomaro paid a visit to the island and composed a tanka and tanka appendage. According to the novelist Nakagawa Yoichi (中河与一, Nakagawa Yoichi?) from Sakaide, Kakinomoto no Hitomaro had a temple/monument erected on Nakanda beach which in 1936 was moved to its present location on Osogoe beach (オソゴエの浜, Osogoe beach?) at (人麻呂岩).

Yoshima 与島,
part of Sakaide and one of the seven "salt boiling islands". area: 1.10 km², circumference: 6.9 km. The island is crossed by the Great Seto Bridge and a rest area ("Yoshima parking area") has been build along the highway.

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Sakaide and Kume Tsuuken 久米通賢(くめつうけん)坂出
Sakaide is the biggest trading port in Shikoku, dealing with about 34,700 cargo ships and tankers each year. Until the 1960s it was known for the greatest salt production in Japan. Visiting Kamada Kyosai-kai Kyodo Hakubutsu-kan Museum is like visiting Sakaide as it used to be. There are lots of interesting objects from the earliest salt-making pots (300-600 A.D.) to innovations in the 19th century by Kume Tsuken, the founder of Sakaide as a Salt City.
Sakaide is an industrial town of 60,000 located 22 km west of Takamatsu. It is a traditional area for sea-salt production.

source :  www.lansingsc.org

Shio Yashiki in Kurashiki

Worldwide use

Things found on the way


Related words

***** WKD Reference


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