Renkon (lotus root)


Lotus root (renkon)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Various LOTUS, see below
***** Category: Plant, Humanity


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renkon 蓮根 lotus root
kigo for all winter

It is not really the root, but but an underground stem with many holes.
There are alwasy one small hole in the middle, two smaller ones on the top side and all around the middle one are seven other ones, altogether nine holes around the middle. Air is funneled through these holes to the plant.

It is an auspicious food,since you can see through the holes of the root "into the future", saki ga mitooseru 先が見通せる, which is lucky. Therefore lotus dishes are always prepared for auspicious situations, festivals and the New Year food.

renkon no hasami-age れんこんのはさみ揚げ
Renkon no Hasami Age
Lotoswurzel mit Hackfleischfüllung

Lotus, Lotos (hasu) ... all KIGO
and all about the symbolism of the lotus blossoms.
The flowers of lotus play an important role in Buddhist philosophy.


Renkon is well loved and prepared as a speciality in some prefectures.

. Kaga renkon 加賀レンコン/ 加賀れんこん
Lotos roots from Kaga, Ishikawa

The story of the ailing daimyo of Kumamoto, Hosokawa Tadatoshi,
細川 忠利 and how he got well with
. karashi renkon 辛子れんこん lotus roots with mustard  
karashi renkon chippusu 辛子れんこんチップス
Karashi Renkon Chips
from Kumamoto

. renkon katsudon れんこんカツ丼
cotelette with lotus root on rice
from Gifu

. renkon no ni-ae れんこんの煮和え
simmered lotus root salad
from Aichi

. renkon no su no mono と\れんこんの酢の物
lotus root pickled in vinegar
from Iwakuni, Yamaguchi

. Urajima renkon 連島レンコン
lotus roots from Urajima town
renkon shooshuu レンコン焼酎 schnaps
from Okayama


hasumeshi 蓮飯 lotus with rice

hasu no meshi 蓮の飯 (はすのめし)
hasumeshi 荷飯(はすめし)
hasuha no meshi 荷葉の飯(はすはのめし)rice on a lotus leaf
observance kigo for early autumn

Served at the O-Bon ancestor festival.
. Bon Festival, O-Bon, Obon お盆 .

Hiroshige, Eating Lotus at Shitaya Hirokoji, Ueno
江戸高名会亭尽 下谷広小路

In the background is the pond Shinobazu no Ike in Ueno, famous for its lotus and the island with a shrine of Benten. Parties for "lotus blossom viewing " (hasu no hanami 蓮の花見) were quite popular.

A party of writers of comic verse (kyooku 狂句) in 17 syllables is having a party after the poetry meeting.

One of the dishes is Lotus with Rice 蓮飯 hasumeshi,
prepared with lotus seeds and leaves and salted rice.

There is also hasu no ha meshi, kayoohan (荷葉飯 はすのはめし),
rice with lotus leaves, with the rice wrapped in a lotus leaf.
The rice is cooked with this wrapper.

Other recipes prefer to boil the lotus seeds and leaves and use the broth to cook the rice.

. Reference : 荷葉飯

. Benten, Benzaiten 弁天 弁財天  

Worldwide use


Things found on the way

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hasu no mi 蓮の実 fruit of the Indian lotus
Nelumbo nucifera

It is used as medicine against sleeplessness and also helps with diarrhoe.
It can be served in soup or as a sweed desert.


shiozakana no shio koborekeri hasu no meshi

the salt of this
salted fish spills over . . .
rice with lotus

Kaya Shirao 加舎白雄 (1738-1791)


Related words

***** WASHOKU :



Gabi Greve said...

white and yellow -
seeing the lotus flower
I get hungry

Alex Serban, Romania

Gabi Greve - WKD said...

renkon no hi 蓮根の日 day of the lotus root

created in 1994 by the lotus farmers of Ibaragi.
This was the first day of their "lotus summit" (renkon samitto 「蓮根サミット」.