Edo Yasai


Edo-Vegetables (Edo yasai)

The special vegetables grown in Edo (and still now in Tokyo) to feed the shoogun and the inhabitants of Edo castle and the whole town.
Edo dentoo yasai 江戸伝統野菜
Traditional vegetables of Edo

Edo Tokyo Yasai 江戸東京野菜

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. Edo no takenoko 江戸の筍 bamboo shoots in Edo .


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Kameido daikon 亀戸大根 large radish from Kameido
it grows about 30 long, a small daikon. It is very white and was loved for its color, an early spring harbinger.

.... Nerima daikon 練馬大根 from Nerima
has been introduced by Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, 5th shogun, to help feed the growing population of Edo. It is usually prepared as takuan pickles.
The radish is scrabbed with the skin of shark fish (dry skin is soaked in water to make it softer), then pickled in rice bran. Thus the vitamiens of the rice bran would soak easily into the radish.
For the poor people of Edo this was a cheap way to prevent beri-beri disease, which was caused by the polished white rice.
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The most famous of the daikons of Edo is the Nerima daikon. High in fiber, it is perfect for making takuan pickles. The crispy takuan made with Nerima daikon was a favorite of the Edoites and helped artisans and laborers supplement the salt that they had sweat away.

The Kameido daikon, first cultivated in the Kameido area during the Bunkyu era (1861-64), is another famous daikon of Edo. It was favored by Edoites as an early spring vegetable for its dense flesh and the suitability of both root and leaves for pickling.

The Miura Peninsula in Kanagawa Prefecture has also been a center of Japanese radish production for ages, as evidenced by documents dating as far back as 1841. The Miura daikon, which would later become a big name in the vegetable world, is a natural hybrid between the Nerima daikon and locally grown varieties, such as the Koenbo and Nakabukura.

The Nerima, Kameido, and Miura daikons were all popularly cultivated until the middle or latter half of the Showa era (1926-1989) and formed the cornerstones of a rich food culture. But their production would soon plummet. Diseases and natural disasters, the urbanization of former farmland, the hassle of harvesting, changes in consumer diets, and the expansion of nuclear families all undermined the production of these local varieties.
source : www.tokyofoundation.org / Daikon


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Edogawa ward
komatsuna こまつな (小松菜) leafy vegetabel, like spinach
Brassica campestris
from Edogawa 江戸川区小松川 Edogawa Komatsugawa
Has been grown there since Shogun Yoshimune ordered it.

Komatsuna, or spinach mustard,
is commonly eaten during the New Year. In season from November through March, nearly 10,000 tons of spinach mustard is produced yearly in Edogawa Ward. Komatsuna gets its name from the Komatsugawa district, which includes Edogawa, Katsushika and Adachi wards. Tokyo was the second-largest regional producer of komatsuna in 2004.
The hardy green vegetable tastes best in winter, when its leaves become rich in flavor. Komatsuna is served blanched or in zoni boiled rice cake soup. Demand for komatsuna peaks around this time of the year.
source : www.metro.tokyo.jp / with PHOTO

. Komatsugawa district 小松川 "river Komatsu" .
Edogawa ward


Koganei 小金井
They grow some kinds of old vegetables.
Most is grown in hothouses near the homes of the farmers and now used for bringing life back into the community (machiokoshi, machi okoshi).

nagakabu 長カブ long turnips
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noraboona のらぼう菜 leafy vegetable
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ookura daikon 大蔵大根(おおくらだいこん)extra large radish
It grows up to 50 cm lenght and is very compact. Good for boiling, since it does not change its form.
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shintorina しんとりな / しんとり菜 leafy stem vegetable
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. Koganei 小金井 Koganei district .


Kanamachi kokabu 金町こかぶ / 金町小かぶ
small turnips from Kanamachi
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Magome 馬込 from Magome
Magome sansui ninjin 馬込三寸人参(まごめさんすんにんじん)
Magome hanjiro kyuuri 馬込半白胡瓜(まごめはんじろきゅうり
. Magome - photos of vegetables .

Naitoo kabocha ないとうかぼちゃ / 内藤(ないとう)かぼちゃ
pumpkin from Naito
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Senjuunegi, Senjuu negi 千住葱 leek from Senju, Senjunegi 千寿葱
They are best when simply grilled over charcoal.

Shinagawa kabu 品川カブ turnips from Shinagawa
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Takinogawa ninjin 滝野川人参(たきのがわにんじん)
carrots from Takinogawa

Terashima nasu 寺島なす eggplants from Terashima

udo, Tokyo udo 東京うど udo from Tokyo
Aralia cordata Thunb
yama udo 山独活 Mountain spikenard
"mountain asparagus". A mountain vegetable which produces fat, white, edible stalks.
Its tender stalks are similar to asparagus, their flavor is a light fennel. It is also one of the "Kyoto Vegetables".
Peel the outer layer of the stem, cut in oblong pieces, soak in vinegar-water and dry. Eat with vinegared dressings or vinegar miso. The very top of the plant can be used for tempura.

CLICK for more photos It is grown deep under the earth about 4 meters deep in long tunnels (udo muro "独活室”) in Tachikawa 立川.
Very crunchy to the taste (shakishaki, knusprig).
Locally it is served as udo ramen soup 独活ラーメン or in a dressing with salmon like a western asparagus salad (Spargelsalat).
Other specialities from Tachikawa 立川ウド are
udo arare
Kichijoji Udo 吉祥寺ウド is also known.

udo senbei
udo yookan
udo dorayaki
udo pai
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moyashi udo もやしうど white udo sprouts
A whole group of local farmers continue with the growing of this udo and develop new dishes with it.

udo ae, udo-ae 独活和 (うどあえ) spikenard in dressing
kigo for late spring

udo no kinpira うどのきんぴら boiled in soy sauce and sugar

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Western asparagus is called "seiyoo udo" 西洋独活.

nanka udo なんかウド/ 軟化独活 soft white udo
grown in Tochigi in special trenches in the dark and harvested three times a year.
They made it to a local speciality, with udo gyooza 独活餃子 at the local chinese restaurant.
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Waseda myooga 早稲田茗荷 Myoga from Waseda

Yanaka shooga 谷中生姜 ginger from Yanaka

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Tokyo Pigs

Tokyo X buta 東京X豚 Tokyo X pork from special pigs
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Tokyo-X is a new Japanese breed, bred for high quality pork production. It is unusual for its marbled meat, seldom seen in pork.
Breeding Tokyo-X started in 1990 by the Tokyo Metropolitan Livestock Experiment Station. They combined bloodlines from the Duroc (USA), Berkshire (UK) and a Beijing Black (China) breeds. After five generations of breeding and selection, the first meat was marketed in 1997.
Often processed into a Tokyo Curry.

Related words

CLICK for more photos
Edo Tokyo Yasai 江戸東京野菜

***** WASHOKU : Kyooyasai 京野菜 Vegetables from Kyoto

***** . 100 Favorite Dishes of Edo - 江戸料理百選

***** . Tokyo - Local Dishes


WASHOKU : General Information


. Edo 青物町 Aomonocho "vegetable" district .
Edo no Aomono Ichiba 江戸の青物市場 Vegetable Markets in Edo
In the "three vegetable district" 青物三ケ町 Aomono Sangamachi in Kanda
Tachō, 多町 Tacho - 連雀町 Renjakucho - 永富町 Eifukucho
- - - aomono uri 青物売り vegetable vendor




Anonymous said...

Tokyo Foundation

Nerima Daikon

Legend has it that the Nerima daikon originated from the seeds that Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, the fifth Tokugawa shogun, ordered from Owari to the capital for cultivation. But its shape and characteristics would seem to suggest that it is the outcome of generations of complex natural crossbreeding between a preexistent local variety of Nerima and the variety brought from Owari, until a radish with favorable qualities was born.

The Nerima daikon makes delicious takuan pickles.
Several factors played in its favor, leading to its active cultivation. The soil in Nerima is part of the Kanto loam layer, consisting of volcanic ashes from Mt. Fuji and ideal for daikon cultivation. The radish had superior qualities as a takuan pickling vegetable. Moreover, it became the designated daikon for payment in kind to the Tokugawa shogunate. Production volumes increased in the Meiji era (1868-1912), as large quantities of takuan made from Nerima daikon were supplied to the army during the Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese wars (1894-95 and 1904-1905) as garnish for the rice balls eaten by soldiers. Consumption further grew between the Taisho era (1912-1926) and the beginning of the Showa era, and up to 500,000 Nerima daikon were annually produced in the peak years. From around the mid-1950s, however, the tide reversed.

In 1989 a program was jointly started by the Nerima Ward, farmers, and agricultural cooperatives to save the Nerima daikon from extinction. Today, as in the old days, most of the harvested radishes are pickled. The Nerima daikon is sown between late August and early September and harvested between late November and early December. Prior to pickling, the daikon is sun dried for 10 to 14 days in the cold, depending on the weather, after having the soil washed away and its skin scraped off with shark skin or a similar tool to facilitate drying. Once thoroughly dehydrated, the daikon is taken to picklers and becomes takuan.

Furthermore, some farmers are individually engaging in unique efforts. Yoshitaka Shiraishi, in addition to growing Nerima daikon under commission from the ward, is also trying to reproduce the original Nerima daikon; the currently known Nerima daikon is actually a hybrid developed by a seed and nursery company. Shiraishi hopes to open the door to the past and bring back to life the true, original form of the Nerima daikon.

Kameido Daikon

The Kameido daikon, despite its name, is not to be found anywhere in Kameido. Initially grown as the local radish of the Kameido area during the Bunkyu era, its production was moved out of town more than a century ago. Its pale color and small, carrot-like shape earned it such endearing names as okame daikon and otafuku daikon, both of which refer to a traditional mask of a white-faced woman having a prominent forehead, puffed cheeks, and a small nose. Sown in the fall and harvested in early spring, it quickly came to be widely cultivated as a precious winter vegetable. But with the wave of urbanization set off by the opening of a local train station in 1904, farmlands soon disappeared from Kameido.

The Kameido daikon found a new home in Takasago, Katsushika Ward, eight kilometers to the northwest. Today, Toichi Suzuki is the only producer who grows it on a significant scale. Every generation is grown from harvested seeds; about 1 in 100 radishes are chosen at harvest time and replanted. Suzuki takes extreme care with the radishes selected for seed harvesting, such as by netting them to prevent pollination by butterflies. This is to ensure the replication of tender white stalks, the result of a mutation that occurred in the century since production was moved to Takasago. Crossbreeding with other cruciferous plants will likely make the stalks revert to green.

The Kameido daikon is harvested about 100 days after seeding in the fall and comes in season between around the vernal equinox and April. Unlike the aokubi daikon, which is harvested in the fall, this variety needs to be overwintered. Kameido daikon grown in a greenhouse does not taste good, according to Suzuki, and so he adheres to a traditional method that uses reed screens for temperature control.

"Although the Kameido daikon is small, it takes strength to pull it out of the ground, because the top of the root isn't exposed like that of the aokubi daikon," explains Suzuki. "I've got to handle the leaves with care, since they're also part of the product, and there's the washing and bundling to do, too. It's time-consuming and unprofitable work, but I do it in the hope of preserving the Kameido daikon."

Suzuki currently produces about 20,000 of these radishes annually. He does what he can to spread the vegetable to younger generations, such as by helping with daikon-growing experiences at elementary schools and giving away seeds upon request.

Miura Daikon

Harvesting the magnificent Miura daikon is heavy labor.
The Miura daikon was long grown in the Miura Peninsula before officially receiving its current name in 1925. The industry suffered a fatal blow in 1979, when a typhoon brought with it strong saline winds that blackened and melted the leaves overnight. Farms incurred losses that are said to have totaled 800 million yen, the worst in the history of Miura daikon production. To ride out the crisis, the farms planted aokubi daikon. The emergency measure was surprisingly successful-so much so that within two years after the typhoon the Miura daikon, which had been grown by local farmers for over 100 years, was almost entirely replaced by the aokubi daikon.

Still, there are some farmers, few though they may be, that remain loyal to the Miura daikon. Kazuko Yoshida is one such person. "Of the thousand or so farms in all of Miura, I think forty or fifty grow the Miura daikon," she estimates. Only 1 percent of the Japanese radishes produced in the region are of the local variety. The space-hogging leaves make it an inefficient crop, and harvesting is hard work, as it is a large and heavy vegetable. The root grows to 50 or 60 centimeters, with a diameter of 12 to 15 centimeters, and weighs as much as 3 to 4 kilograms. I tried pulling one out, but I learned that it takes skill and considerable time, unlike the aokubi variety.

Yoshida is a spokesperson of sorts for the Miura daikon, giving lectures and workshops to promote its consumption. As a producer, she is not all about "growing"; her gaze extends beyond to the act of "eating" that awaits the daikon that she sends into the outside world.

The most notable feature of the Miura daikon is its dense flesh. In addition to a dish called namasu (marinated julienne strips), it is often favored for simmered dishes, as it stays firm even when stewed. The radish is best eaten between early December and around February. It is shipped to market only during three days, from December 24 to 26, but it can be found at every farm stand around this time, and people come all the way from Yokohama and Tokyo to buy the daikon.

The aokubi daikon may reign supreme, but local varieties of daikon that have been cultivated for ages thanks to their compatibility with their native climate should not be allowed to pass into memory. It is with such a desire that diverse daikon are being kept alive by the hands of locals.

Fukuda, Motoko

Gabi Greve said...

Castle Games of the Edo Period
The Ôhashi records
An Eye-Witness Report Discovered by Masukawa Kôichi
The traditional sources of Go and Shogi history have never informed us of the treatment the players received when playing the Castle Games. Sôkei's reports, however, mention luxurious meals in the morning and in the evening, served on precious table-wear. These meals were called 'two soups, seven vegetables' which may sound a little bit misleading. In fact they consisted of two courses both composed of seven vegetables plus three kinds of grilled food differing according to season.

Formalism in those days was not so strict to forbid any changes, so from 1682 on only 'two soups, five vegetables' were served. This down-ranking notwithstanding, we may call the treatment of the players out of proportion compared to their modest income. Judging from the amount of their stipends the players held only a very subordinate rank in the Shogunal administration. However, when they entered the Castle to show their art to the Shogun himself, they received a treatment suiting the most exalted artists. They were even served green tea and the proper sweets by the tea-masters of the Shogun.

Accordingly, in all records without fail we learn about the food the players were treated with. This was therefore another point of special importance in the eyes of the author.

Gabi Greve said...

Kameido choo 亀戸町 Kemeido, Kame-Ido "Turtle Well" district


Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

・浅草海苔―― Asakusa Nori
・佃煮 ―― Tsukudani
・業平のシジミ―― Carrots from Narihira
・駒込茄子―― Eggplants from Komagome
・砂村のスイカ―― watermelons from Sunamachi
・目黒の筍―― bamboo shoots from Meguro
目黒、碑文谷周辺。目黒不動の参詣土産に出して、名産品のうわさが広がった。 上記のほかに、現在の江戸川区・小松川あたりで作られた小松菜、谷中のしょうが、千住のネ ギなども、名産品として知られました。

- reference source : norenkai.net -

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Waseda myooga 早稲田茗荷 / みょうが Myoga from Waseda
The Waseda district of Tokyo