TSUKEMONO . . . Spring


Tsukemono 漬物 漬け物 Japanese Pickles

'God of pickles'
Aichi shrine blesses veggies soaked in brine

Pickles of all kinds were recently gathered from different parts of Japan and brought to Aichi Prefecture, where the "god of pickles" is enshrined.

Kayatsu Shrine 萱津神社 in the city of Ama is known as the "birthplace of pickles". According to priest Tomoharu Aoki, 43, pickles were born by accident when vegetables offered to the shrine fermented with salt that was also being offered.
Facing the ocean, Aichi has always harvested salt and was a stopping point where merchants from both east and west brought goods for sale.

Legend has it that Prince Yamatotakeru, a mythical hero, had been touched by pickles offered to him by locals as he was making his way to a battlefield.

Aug. 21 is Pickles Day, where those in the businesses bring their wares to the shrine and pray for prosperity.

"I'm not sure how this day came to be regarded as such, but maybe it coincides with the harvesting season for vegetables," Aoki said.

One of the highlights of the celebration is the ritual for making pickles. Based on traditional procedure, vegetables are put into a pot of salt and enshrined in the altar. When autumn arrives, the pickles will be ready and presented to Atsuta Shrine in Nagoya, where Prince Yamatotakeru is enshrined.
source : Japan Times, August 28, 2010

CLICK for more photos
Kayatsu Shrine Festival

Kayanu hime no kami 鹿屋野比売神(かやぬひめのかみ)
Deity of Pickled Vegetables

Aug. 21 is Pickles Day, where those in the business bring their wares to the shrine and pray for prosperity.
- source : pamandjapan.tumblr.com


* * * TSUKEMONO of other seasons


SPRING Pickles

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Spring
***** Category: Humanity


oshinko おしんこ【御新香】 pickled vegetables

The Japanese word TSUKE in connection is often pronouced ... ZUKE, and can be spelled with or without a hyphen in English.
Dressings and miso paste preparations are also presented here.

In Alphabetical order of the Japanese.
Use your browser to find a word, please !

CLICK for more Japanese photos CLICK for more ENGLISH information


Tsukemono (漬物) ("pickled things") are Japanese pickles. They are served with rice, and sometimes with beverages as an otsumami snack.

The most common kinds are pickled in salt or brine. Soy sauce, miso, vinegar, rice bran (nuka), and sake lees (sake kasu)or miso are also useful for pickling.

Takuan (daikon), umeboshi (ume plum), turnip, cucumber, and Chinese cabbage are among the favorites to be eaten with rice as an accompaniment to a meal. Beni shoga (red ginger) is used as a garnish on okonomiyaki, takoyaki and yakisoba. Gari (sushi ginger) is used between dishes of sushi to cleanse the palate. Rakkyoozuke (a type of shallot onion) is often served with Japanese curry.

Traditionally, the Japanese prepared tsukemono themselves with a tsukemonoki. Pickling was one of the fundamental ways to preserve food. Nowadays, tsukemono can be bought readily in the supermarket, but many Japanese still make their own. Typically, all that's needed to make pickles is a container with the food to be pickled, salt, and pressure on top of the pickles.

A tsukemonoki (漬物器, literally: vessel for pickled things) is a Japanese pickle press. The pressure was generated using heavy stones called tsukemonoishi (漬物石, literally: stone for pickled things) with a weight of 1 to 2 kilograms, sometimes more. This type is still in use, with the container being plastics, wood, glass or ceramics. Before tsukemonoishi came into use, the pressure was applied by driving a wedge between a handle of the vessel and its cover.

The weights are either stone or metal, with a convenient handle on top and often covered with a layer of food-neutral plastic. Another modern type of pickle press is usually made from plastic, and the necessary pressure is generated by turning a screw and clamping down onto the pickles.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Japanisches, eingelegtes Gemüse ... DE wikipedia


Aonuta 青饅 (あおぬた) pickled mustard leaves
The mustard plant leaves are pickled with sake lees, miso and vinegar. To this, fish or vegetables can be added to make NUTA dressings.
asatsuki is also used for NUTA dressings.

Asatsuki namasu 胡葱膾 (あさつきなます)
Japanese chives namasu dressing

CLICK here for asatsuki Photos !
. . . MORE ABOUT Namasu dressing


Buna namasu 鮒膾 (ふななます)
crucian carp in namasu dressing, often with roe

buna no ko mabushi 鮒の子まぶし(ふなのこまぶし)
yamabuki namasu 山吹膾(やまぶきなます)
tataki namasu 叩き膾(たたきなます)
komori namasu 子守膾(こもりなます), komochi namasu 子持膾(こもちなます)
CLICK here for Photos !
. . . MORE ABOUT Namasu dressing


Dengaku 田楽 (でんがく) simmered miso paste on food
konome dengaku, on tree buds 木の芽田楽(きのめでんがく)
dengaku yaki, 田楽焼(でんがくやき)、
dengaku doofu, on tofu 田楽豆腐(でんがくどうふ)
stick for dengaku, dengaku zashi 田楽刺(でんがくざし)

CLICK for more photos The preparation of simmering miso paste with a bit of sugar for dengaku is very old. This paste is coated on various types of skewered food and then grilled again for a few minutes.

Dengaku, a food and a dance

Miso paste and soup

田楽も かたき豆腐に かたき味噌
dengaku mo kataki toofu ni kataki miso

put dengaku
on hard tofu
with hard miso
Takaham Kyoshi 高浜虚子

田楽に 舌焼く宵の シュトラウス  
dengaku ni shita yaku yoi no Shutorausu

I burn my tongue tonight
on the grilled dengaku ...
music of Strauss

Ishida Hakyo 石田波郷
Tr. Gabi Greve


Fuki miso 蕗味噌 (ふきみそ) butterburr in miso
fuki no too miso 蕗の薹味噌(ふきのとうみそ)
early spring
CLICK here for Photos !
Butterbur sprouts (fuki no too, fuki no tou)


Konomizuke, tree buds preserved
in sake lees or pickled,
ki no mi zuke
木の芽漬 (きのみづけ)

.... moezuke 萌え漬(もえづけ)
akebi no mezuke あけびの芽漬(あけびのめづけ)
boiled tree buds, kinomedaki 木の芽煮(きのめだき)

During the first few weeks of spring, many people come to our mountains to pick tree buds for tempura, deep fried in batter. It is one of these delicacies that make people aware of the change of season, thus one of the typical dishes with a spring flavor!
As pickles, they can be enjoyed for a longer time during the year.

ki no mi miso 木の芽味噌 (きのめみそ) tree buds in miso
sanshoo miso 山椒味噌(さんしょうみそ)mountain pepper in miso

kinomi ae 木の芽和 (きのめあえ) tree buds in dressing
sanshoo ae 山椒和(さんしょうあえ) mountain pepper in dressing

Japanese pepper, "Mountain pepper"

akebi あけび【通草/木通】acebia, akebia Akebia quinata


Nahana zuke, rape flower pickles
花菜漬 (はななづけ)

na no hana zuke, nanohanazuke 菜の花漬(なのはなづけ)
picking rape flowers, hana natsumi 花菜摘(はななつみ)
late spring
Rapeseed blossoms (na no hana) Japan

nanohana tempura 菜の花天ぷら can also be put in onigiri rice balls.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
Chiba prefecture is famous for its early rape blossoms.

Rape blossom dishes (nanohana, na no hana)


CLICK for more photos ! Sakurazuke , cherry blossom salt pickles 桜漬 (さくらづけ)
hanazuke 花漬(はなづけ)
hot water with pickled cherry blossoms, sakura yu 桜湯(さくらゆ)

salted cherry blossoms, shiozakura 塩桜(しおざくら)

late spring

This is considered quite a delicacy. I often see the farmer's wifes in our area out there picking the blossoms carefully and later enjoying a cup of hot salted water (that is what it tastes to me) while rambling about the beautiful cherry blossom season.
They are also put into onigiri rice balls and sold at stations.

Food kigo for the Cherry Blossom Time


Tanishi ae 田螺和 (たにしあえ) mud snail in dressing
tsubu ae つぶ和(つぶあえ)
Mud snails are a delicacy in this season, being boiled or added with different flavors. They where a source of protein for the poor farmers of the Edo period.
Mud snails and paddy kigo


Udo ae 独活和 (うどあえ) spikenard in dressing
late spring
Aralia cordata, Japanese Spikenard
Its tender stalks are similar to asparagus, their flavor is a light fennel. Udo cen be used raw in salads or slightly cooked in soups and other dishes.
CLICK here for Photos !


Wakame ae 若布和 (わかめあえ)
wakame seewead in dressing

Seaweed (kaisoo)


Wasabizuke, wasabi-zuke, wasabi preserved in sake lees
山葵漬 (わさびづけ)
early spring
Wasabi, Japanese horseradish

CLICK for more photosThis is a kind of hot side dish with many types of fish. It is said to prevent stomach upset in the summer season. The easiest preparation is with sugar and vinegar, but there are regional recipies for the mix, mostly with sake lees.
It is a favorite regional souvenier.

. Wasabizuke and other wasabi dishes .   

Worldwide use

Things found on the way


Monarisa no fushigi na hohoemi wasabizuke

the wonderous smile
of Mona Lisa ...
wasabi pickles

source :  俳句の累積
Tr. Gabi Greve


Pickled Sorrow

I slice my sorrow,
pickle the cutlets,
and closet them in a jar.

When hungry,
I'll have a slice
with pinot noir.

Chen-ou Liu, Canada
August 2010

Related words


HOW TO prepare tsukemono

Eco food in the Edo period by Azby Brown
Just Enough: Lessons in Living Green from Traditional Japan

**************** TSUKEMONO of other seasons

Gourds and cucumber pickles of SUMMER

Kigo for Spring



Anonymous said...

Kayatsu Shrine

Residents are now trying to establish this legendary food as a local specialty.
Japanese pickles are believed to have originated at Kayatsu Shrine, which used to be near the sea. To prevent their offerings to the gods from rotting, the villagers placed the vegetables in jars of salt, creating the first batch of preservatives.

more news on the Japan Times


Gabi Greve said...

A New Publication of Composite Make-Believe Objects
(Shimpan mitate tsukemono zukushi)
by the artist: Ayasono, 1900-1920;