Showing posts with label Edo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Edo. Show all posts


Shiratama white dumplings


Shiratama white dumplings

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: All summer
***** Category: Humanity



Shiratama 白玉 (しらたま) Shiratama Dango
"white treasure, white pearls"

They make you feel cool in summer and are often served in a glass bowl to enhance the cool feeling. They are a snack taken between meals, sometimes as a desert. Sweet brown-sugar syrup is poored over the chilled dumplings.
They can be combined with fruit, red azuki beans, ice cream or jelly. They usually imply a snack during the daytime.
Most popular is a serving in sweet azuki soup (shiruko).

They are made from special flour, Shiratamako 白玉粉.

glutinous rice flour. It is quite lumpy when dissolved in water and must be kneaded thoroughly for making dumplings.

Dumplings of all kinds


shiratama uri 白玉売 vendor of Shiratama in Edo

from the magazine Morisada Mankoo 守貞漫稿

In Edo, these vendors walk along, selling Shiratama and cold water (hiyamizu 「冷水(ひやみず)). The vendor scoops cold water from a well in the morning and starts his business. The dumplings were made of kanzarashiko flour 寒晒粉 (another name for Shiratamako). They were put in a bowl, covered with cold water and some brown sugar then sprinkled on top of them.
One bowl was sold for 4 mon.
Walking along the streets, the vendor would call

ひやつこい ひやつこい hiyakkoi hiyakkoi
Here comes the cold delight !

Some vendors sold only cold water with sugar
satoo mizu uri 砂糖水売り

. mizu-uri 水売 (みずうり) vendor of water in Edo .
kigo for all summer


夕涼花火賑 : 歌川国周画

On this woodblock from 1870 by Utagawa Kunichika you can see three men enjoying the firework display at the bridge Ryogokubashi. They are three actors, the name of each one is mentioned.
From the left they are Ueo Kikugoro 五代目尾上菊五郎、
Nakamura Shikan 四代目中村芝翫 and Sawamura 二代目澤村訥升.

Kikugoro is dressed in the robes of a vendor of Shiratama.

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

source :

志ら玉 Shiratama in Edo
歌川国芳 Utagawa Kuniyoshi 《名酒揃 志ら玉》Meishu zoroe - Shiratama

當盛六花撰 Toyosei Rokkasen 紫陽花 Ajisai - 三代歌川豊国 Utagawa Toyokuni 3rd

The man on the right is holding a bowl of Shiratama with red dumplings.

source :

. Food vendors in Edo .


shiratama ni toke-nokoritaru satoo kana

on the Shiratama
it has not yet dissolved -
this sugar

. 高浜虚子 Takahama Kyoshi


shiratama ya aisu hito nimo uso tsuite

sweet rice dumplings---
even to my love
a little white lie

CLICK for enlargement

Suzuki Masajo 鈴木真砂女

CLICK on the thumbnail
to see the image and text of Nakamura Sakuo.

Related words

***** . hiyashi shiruko 冷し汁粉(ひやししるこ)sweets with red beans

***** WAGASHI - Sweets Saijiki





Lodgings (hatago)


Lodgings, inn (hatago)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Topic
***** Category: Humanity



CLICK for more photos

Hatago (旅籠, 旅篭)
were Edo period lodgings for travelers at shukuba (post stations) along the national highways, including the Edo Five Routes and the subroutes. In addition to a place to rest, hatago also offered meals and other foods to the travelers.
They were also called hatagoya (旅籠屋).

Hatago means "traveling basket."
The word itself originally derived from baskets that contained food for horses and were carried by travelers. From there, it became a tool with which travelers were carry their own food and goods. Shops that began preparing and selling food for travelers gained the suffix ya (屋), meaning "shop," but this was eventually shortened to just hatago.

Because many post stations along the Tōkaidō, Nakasendō and other historical routes have been either preserved or rebuilt, there are many traditional hatago still in existence today. While some have only been preserved as public buildings and museums, others have continued to operate for the past few hundred years.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

. shukuba 宿場 post station, postal station .

. kujiyado, kuji yado 公事宿 lawsuit inn, "lawyers' inn” .


CLICK for original LINK,
Tokaido, Akasaka by Hiroshige

meshimori hatago 飯盛旅籠(めしもりはたご)
lodgings serving food (and women)

Travellers could ask for food being brought by women who would serve them "anything".

A good traveller would walk about 40 kilometers (10 ri 里), a woman made about 30 kilometers (8 ri).

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Tokaido, Goyu 御油(ごゆ) by Toyokuni

- Goyu 御油 and Akasaka 赤 on the Tokaido Road - Basho is visiting
. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .

Goyu was about 298 km from Edo and 195 km close to Kyoto. Now it is in Toyokawa.

Of course reservations could not be made in the Edo period. Travellers arrived at any time and stopped when they got tired of walking.
A licensed hatago would provide two meals, breakfast and evening meal.

Other lodgings (yadoya, yado 宿屋) more popular with the poor travelelrs would only provide the firewood for self-cooking (kichinyado, kichin yado 木賃宿).
The cost was about 3000 yen (300 mon) for a hatago. A yado would charge about 500 yen (50 mon).

Travellers would often have to share a simple room with others.

When entering a hatago, travellers could wash their feet in a wooden basin (tarai たらい) and sometimes a woman servant would carry their luggage up to a room.

Some hatago would provide local delicacies to entertain the travellers with food and local sake. Some where quite famous for this, for example in Odawara they served kamaboko fish paste.
One meal consisted of a pot of soup, two sidedishes of vegetables and rice 一汁二菜. The price varied with the quality of the food.

.Toyokawa Inari Shrine 豊川稲荷 i .

. tarai 盥 - たらい tub, basin, washing bowl, wash tub .


Tokaido, Hiratsuka, by Hiroshige

Hiratsuka is still quite close to Edo, only about 60 kilometers on the road. It was a stop at the crossing of river Banyuugawa 馬入川, now Sagamigawa.
For a slow traveller, Hiratsuka was the second stop-over on the trip.

Here you can see the servants carrying trays with food. The smaller girl carries the pot with cooked rice (meshibitsu 飯櫃).
On the tray there are a bowl of soup, a bowl for rice, a plate with a fish (fried or boiled fish was common), a covered bowl with cooked vegetables (sometimes even lily roots or yuba soy skin, shiitake mushrooms) and a small plate with pickled vegetables.
This is quite a delicious evening meal. Fish was not served in the morning.

. Reference : 旅籠 in 江戸 .

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Modern Hatago and Food 旅籠料理

. . . CLICK here for Photos !

ryokan 旅館 Japanese inn

Many ryokan take great pride in a long history of "motenashi no kokoro" おもてなしのこころ, entertaining the guests with utmost care.

honjin 本陣 feudal lord's lodging in the Edo period
... waki honjin 脇本陣
. sankin kootai 参勤交代 Sankin Kotai Daimyo attendance in Edo .

hoteru ホテル hotel

minshuku みんしゅく【民宿】simple guesthouse, bed and breakfast,
a private home providing meals and lodging (for tourists)

shukubo, shukuboo 宿坊 lodging in a temple


kasumu hi ya oohatagoya no ura no matsu

misty day--
behind the big inn
a pine

Kobayashi Issa
(Tr. David Lanoue)


toki no hi ya mukashi hatago no kakedokei

time memorial day -
this wall clock
in the old inn

Sankei 山渓

. toki no kinenbi 時の記念日 (ときのきねんび)
time memorial day, time day

Related words

. Restaurants  

. Train Station Lunch Box (ekiben)  

. Palanquin, sedan chair (kago 篭 or かご)  

***** WASHOKU : General Information

- #hatago #yado -


Kajoogui Ritual


Kajo-gui Food Ritual (kajoogui)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Late Summer
***** Category: Observance



kajoogui 嘉定喰 (がじょうぐい) Eating on the Kajo-Day
..... katsu-u かつう 「嘉通」が「勝つ」
..... katsu-u no iwai かつうの祝(かつうのいわい)

kajoosen 嘉定銭(かじょうせん)16 coins for Kajo
to bus as much cakes as you could get for that amount of money.

kajoo choodai 嘉定頂戴(かじょうちょうだい)
lords giving kajo-cakes to their vassals

kajoo nui 嘉定縫(かじょうぬい)sowing on kajo-day
sodedome 袖止(そでどめ) "shortening the sleeves"

kajoogashi 嘉定菓子(かじょうがし)Kajo-cakes

The emperor Ninmei にんみょうてんのう【仁明天皇】 (833 - 850) once had an inspirational dream on the 16th day of the sixth month, when the Gods told him to offer 16 sweets to prevent him from getting ill in summer. The period name of this dream was kajoo 嘉祥, which was then used for the offerings.

The emperor Gosaga ごさがてんのう【後嵯峨天皇】 (1242 - 1246) was initiated as Emperor on the 16th day of the 6th month and had food purchased for 16 coins of the Kajo-period.

. Go Saga Tenno 後嵯峨天皇 (1220 - 1272) .

This more popular food ritual started in the Muromachi period.
On the 16th day of the 6th month, people at the court (and later the common folk) would eat 16 different pieces of small rice cakes (mochi) and sweets to ward off infectious diseases (ekibyoo 疫病). These cakes were first put on the God's shelf as an offering and later eaten.

In the Edo period, this evolved so that each regional lord gave sweets to his retainers. Poor people bought sweets for 16 mon coins and all had to eat them without laughing while eating.
During the Edo period, sugar was introduced via Nagasaki and more sweets could be produced.
In the great hall of Edo castle, with 500 tamatmi-mat size, more than 20000 pieces of cake would be placed and the Shogun gave them to his retainers.

This is also a play of words with katsu 「嘉通」and 「勝つ」, to win.
kashoo no hi 嘉祥の日(かしょうのひ)Kasho-Day

sodetome cake

In the Edo period, it was custom on this day to sew the sleeves of young girls of the age of 16 to a shorter lenght (sodetome そでとめ【袖止め/袖留め】 ). This showed they were now ready to do the work of a woman.


During the Meiji-Restauration, the practise of giving Kajo-cakes to retainers was abolished. But in 1979, it was kind of revived by the sweet makers industry.

Nowadays, the 16th of the 6th month is also the day of Japanese sweets.


Things found on the way

Sweets from the Edo period and Daruma san



Kobayashi Issa and his children
source : David Lanoue, About Issa

1763, Issa is one year old

1816, Age 54
Fourth Month, 14th day, a son, Sentaro, is born.
Fifth Month, 11th day, he dies.

1818, Age 56
Fifth Month, 4th day, a daughter, Sato, is born.
1819, Age 57
Sixth Month, 21st day, Sato dies of smallpox.

1820, Age 58
Tenth Month, 5th day, his second son, Ishitaro, is born.
1821, Age 59
First Month, 11th day, Ishitaroo suffocates while bundled on his mother's back.

1822, Age 60
Third Month, 10th day, his third son, Konzaburo, is born.

1823, Age 61
Fifth Month, 12th day, his wife, Kiku, dies.

1827, Age 65
Eleventh Month, 19th day, he dies of a stroke

. . . . .

ko no bun o haha itadaku ya kajoo gui

the portion of the child
is eaten by the mother . . .
eating on Kajo-Day

This would mean the mother ate cakes for 32 mon worth of money.
Maybe the baby was still too small to eat the cakes and mother tried to "eat good fortune" for both of them.

more kajoo-haiku, all written in 1825 文政八年句帖)

o-rei suru tamoto ni naru ya kajoosen

futarimae shite yarini keri kajoozake


Related words

Kigo for Summer






Dorayaki (dorayaki)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Topic
***** Category: Humanity


Dorayaki is a favorite snack (o-yatsu, oyatsu) of many Japanese, young and old. Literally it means
"fried on a metal gong"
bean-jam pancake

CLICK for more photos

In Japanese, dora 銅鑼 is a gong and its shape is similar to that of the sweet cake.

Legend tells that the first Dorayaki were made when Benkei forgot his gong when leaving the home of a farmer,who had hid him in the barn. The man later used the metal gong to fry his pancakes, thus the name Dorayaki.
(It remains to wonder wheather farmers at that age were making this kind of pancake ...?? )
Benkei and Yoshitsune


Dorayaki (どら焼き, どらやき, 銅鑼焼き, ドラ焼き) is a type of Japanese confection which consists of two small pancake-like patties made from castella wrapped around a filling of sweet red bean paste.
It originally only had one layer, and the current shape was invented in 1914 by the Ueno Usagiya うさぎや.

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In Kansai area, such as Osaka or Nara, this sweet is often called mikasa(三笠焼き). The word originally means triple straw hat, but also an alternative name of Mount Wakakusa 若草山, a low hill with gentle slope located in Nara. Many local people picture the shape of this hill while eating a mikasa. In Nara, a larger mikasa of about 30 cm in diameter is famous.

7 - Abe no Nakamaro 安倍仲麿
. Mount Mikasa 三笠 - Wakakusayama 若草山.
. Ogura Hyakunin Isshu Poems 小倉百人一首 .

The Japanese manga and anime character Doraemon loves dorayaki, and it has been a plot device several times throughout the series. This is a kind of pun, though his name comes not from "dorayaki" but from the word "doraneko" (stray cat.) Since 2000, the company Bunmeido 文明堂 has been selling a limited version of dorayaki called Doraemon Dorayaki every year around March and September.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

上野松坂屋 Ueno Matsuzakaya


The company Marukyo in Tottori
(Marukyoo 丸京製菓 )

Baked Wheat Cake

They have succeeded to sell their dorayaki to many parts of the world.
The cakes are baked in a huge bakery and shipped worldwide. They are also available in many stores in Japan, where daily delivery is a must.

English Reference

. . . CLICK here for Photos !


Dorayaki with different patterns

source :

original Logo dorayaki オリジナルロゴのどら焼き


Dorayaki with different fillings

bataa dorayaki バター どら焼き with buttercream and red bean paste
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

goshiki dorayaki 五色どらやき dorayaki in five colors
originally from Osaka, Akanemaku Honpo 茜丸本舗
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

CLICK faor more photos
haato dorayaki ハートどら焼き Dorayaki in form of a heart
The perfect gift for lovers !
also with honey flavor or vanilla flavor

hoshi no dorayaki 星のどら焼き Dorayaki in form of a star
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

ichigo dorayaki 苺どら焼き with strawberrry filling
itigodora / いちごどらやき
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

kuri dorayaki 栗どら焼き with chestnut cream filling
Kuri Iri Dorayaki
kuridora. Sometimes a whole chestnut is embedded in the cream.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

. macha - green tea paste  
in the form of a tengu long-nosed goblin, from Mt. Takao
天狗焼き Tengu Yaki

mochidora, mochi dora 餅どらやき with a mochi inside
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

CLICK for more photos
namadora, nama dora 生どら "raw dora"
nama dorayaki 生どら焼き
... with green powdertea 抹茶生どら焼き
... with sour cream サワークリーム生どら焼き
... with sesame flavor ごま風味生どら焼き
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

purin dora ぷりんどら dorayaki waffle with pudding
Yufuin, Oita, Kyushu

tokudai dorayaki 特大どらやき extra large dorayaki
With a diameter of 30 cm and weights 2 kg. A present for a wedding or birthdayparty.
You can even order a special inscription made from white chocolate on the front side.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


tsubuan dorayaki, tsubu-an dorayaki つぶあんどらやき
with rough red bean paste

CLICK for original LINK

どらやき 「石山の秋月」 ishiyama no shuugetsu
"Full autumn moon at Mount Ishiyama"

Ishiyama and the famous temple Ishiyamadera
and another haiku sweet
Tabashiru たばしる

Worldwide use

mit süßem Bohnenmus gefüllte Castilla
Kastella mit Füllungen

kasutera カステラ Kastella, Castella
chiffon cake, sponge cake

Kasutera is a corruption of pão de Castella or Castile bread (Castile is a province of Spain). It was introduced by the Portugese missionaries via Nagasaki.

kasutera to seisho no atsumi haru fukashi

Castella cake
and the thickness of the bible -
spring deepens

Tr. Gabi Greve

Iwabuchi Kiyoko 岩淵喜代子

. WKD : The Bible and Haiku .

Things found on the way

Doraemon Daruma ドラえもん だるま


CLICK for more english reference

dorayaki mo torayaki mo kite o-chuugen

I got Dorayaki
and also some Torayaki -
presents for mid-year

Iijima Haruko 飯島晴子 (1921 - 2000)

This is a play with words of DORA and TORA (Tiger).

torayaki 虎焼き Dorayaki in form of a little tiger

. . . CLICK here for Photos !

chuugen 中元 "Middle third of the year"
Joogen, Chuugen and Kagen in the Asian calendar.


Bang your gong for dorayaki, Doraemon's favorite snack
Pancake sandwich

Traditional Japanese confections, or wagashi, can take a little getting used to for Western palates: The sticky-gooey texture of mochi (pounded rice) and the sweet an (bean paste) filling that are often used are quite different from most European-style cakes and cookies. But one snack that may suit the wagashi beginner is dorayaki.

A dorayaki is a palm-size treat comprising a sweet filling sandwiched between two round cakes that are similar to American pancakes.

Out of favor for some years like all wagashi, dorayaki have become quite trendy again as part of an overall wave of nostalgia for foods from the Showa Era (1926-1989). Manga and anime fans may know it best as the favorite snack of Doraemon, the blue robotic cat with the magical pocket.

The name "dorayaki" comes from the Japanese word for "gong": dora. This is usually believed to be simply due to its resemblance to the circular metal percussive disk, albeit in miniature. (The yaki part of the name means "cooked on dry heat.") But there is another, more romantic theory for its origin that involves a legendary hero called Saito no Musashibo Benkei, sidekick of Minamoto no Yoshitsune.

The story goes that once when he was seriously injured, Benkei was taken care of by an elderly couple who served him a little round cake cooked on the surface of a gong, thus creating the first dorayaki.

Although the origins of the dorayaki are believed to be ancient, it only took its current form in the early part of the 20th century. During the Edo Period (1603-1867) a dorayaki was a folded-up cake, like an omelette or pasty rather than a round sandwich, and the dough was much thinner.

It was first made as a sandwich using fluffy cakelike pancakes in 1914 by a confectionery in Ueno, Tokyo, called Usagiya (Rabbit House), whose owner took the idea from another confection that has its roots in Europe, the kasutera or castella cake. Like kasutera, the batter used to make a dorayaki pancake has some very Japanese ingredients in it, such as mirin (sweet rice wine) and even a touch of soy sauce. The main sweetening ingredient is usually honey, although sugar is used sometimes too.

While the usual dorayaki filling is tsubu-an (sweetened and mashed adzuki bean), in recent years all kinds of different fillings have become popular. One of these alternatives is called a nama (fresh or raw) dorayaki, referring to the use of fresh cream — in this case, whipped cream with some tsubu-an mixed in. Other fillings include chocolate cream, sweet potato cream and chestnut cream — the type that comes on top of a Mont Blanc cake, another only-in-Japan confection.

Making your own dorayaki with the filling of your choice is quite easy, especially if you use one of the instant pancake mixes that are so popular in Japan. Just add a couple of tablespoons of honey, a tablespoon of mirin and a drop of soy sauce to the batter. Cook on a nonstick surface such as an electric griddle, and fill when cooked with any sweet, spreadable filling. My favorite is Nutella with sliced strawberries, for an intriguing East-meets-West snack.
source : Japan Times, October 2012

Related words

. Snacking , a snack (oyatsu, o-yatsu 御八つ) .

***** WAGASHI ... Sweets SAIJIKI



Akagai (ark clam)



Ark clam , "red clam" (akagai)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: All Spring
***** Category: Animal


akagai あかがい【赤貝】 lit. "red clam"
ark shell, bloody clam, bloody shell
..... kisa 蚶(きさ)
"blood shell", chigai 血貝(ちがい)
Anadara broughtoni
Scapharca broughtonii

It lives on the muddy bottom of shallow inlays. Its liquid is bright red like blood.
Its edible parts are the "tongue" and the "thread" (akahimo 赤紐), also the liver.

From Yuriage 閖上(ゆりあげ) near Sendai, this is the best from Japan.

The fishermen in Yuriage port only take out big ones and make sure not to overfish. Caught in the morning for four hours during the season in April and May, they are shipped and sold at Tsukiji market in Tokyo next morning.
Later in the year, akagai come from Ehime.
CLICK here for PHOTOS !

CLICK for more photos
This mussle is also called "butterfly mussle", because for sashimi or sushi it is cut to look like a butterfly. 蝶貝

Th black liver is especially taken out and prepared raw, boiled or fried.

During the Edo period, when rich folk and samurai started to eat white rice, this akagai was their only source of vitamin B.
Edo wazurai, see below.

Kubota Mantaro, the Haiku Poet died on 6 May 1963 at the age of 73, of food poisoning, after eating an akagai clam at a party held by Ryuzaburo Umehara.

Kanman-ji 虫甘満寺 / 蚶満寺 the Temple Kanman
The first Kanji character ‘虫甘’ means ‘赤貝(akagai), ark shells”. . . lit.虫甘 "insect that tasts sweet", an old Chinese character for the ark shell.

akagai from Kisakata, Temple Kanman-Ji
Matsuo Basho


In the "Records of Ancient Matters" (Kojiki 古事記) we read this:

Umugaihime and Kisagaihime
蛤貝比売命(うむがいひめ) / 蚶貝比売命(きさがいひめ)

CLICK for original LINK ...
source :

According to the Kojiki account, the two deities dispatched by Kaminusuhi to resurrect Ōnamuchi after his eighty brothers had killed him with a heated rock. Kisagaihime gathered shavings from seashell and Umugaihime mixed them with the juice from a clam, applying them "as mother's milk" to the burns and thus reviving Ōnamuchi.

Umugaihime is a personification of the
cherry-stone clam (hamaguri), while
Kisagaihime personifies the ark-shell (akagai).

As a result, this story appears to involve the mythic iteration of an ancient folk remedy, in which grindings from the ark-shell were mixed with the juice from the cherry-stone clam to produce a treatment for burns.
source : Yumiyama Tatsuya, 2005
Kokugakuin University


Dishes with the "red clam" 赤貝料理

. . . CLICK here for Photos !

In Japan it is often sold in cans. The type saruboogai サルボウガイ is used.

akagai don 赤貝丼 served in a bowl on cooked rice

akagai himo 赤貝ひも / 赤貝紐 thread of the ark clam
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

akagai kamaboko 赤貝かまぼこ fish paste with venus mussels
prepared in Sendai.

akagia kimo 赤貝肝 liver of the arc clam
often fried or put in soup
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

akagai marine 赤貝のマリネ marinated ark clams

akagai nuta 赤貝ぬた seasoned with miso and vinegar

akagai shabushabu 赤貝しゃぶしゃぶ
in water of only 65 degrees, eaten with ponzu, sesame and chives sauce

akagai no su no mono 赤貝の酢の物 marinated with vinegar

akagai sushi 赤貝 寿司 sushi with ark-shell
The red meat is cut slightly (kazari boochoo) to make the meat better chewable.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Together with white ika squid it gives an "auspicious meal" for festivities.


aji okowa 味おこわ tasty rice gruel with red beans
Prepared for festivals and celebrations. In the mountains prepared with mountain vegetables, along the coast with red ark shells (akagai).
Dishes from Tottori

Worldwide use

Rote Venusmuschel, Archenmuschel.

Things found on the way

Edo wazurai えどわずらい
"the Illness of Edo", Edo disease

beriberi; vitamin B deficiency
. . . . . kakke 脚気(かっけ)

Toward the 18th century, this mysterious disease started as an affliction of the rich and wealthy, who could afford to eat polished rice, which let to vitamin B deficiency.
Poor townspeople in Edo, who ate brown rice, did not get it, also the poor in the countryside.
Even the 8th Shogun Yoshimune suffered from it for a while, until his cooks gave him a sidedish with the ark clam in miso-vinegar. The ark clam contains a lot of vitamin B.

Once the Tokugawa Shogun established the government in Edo (the former name for Tokyo,) the city attracted people and merchants, drawn to the new capital. Edo is thought to have been the largest city in the world at that time. There was a saying at the time that “Fires and brawls are the flowers of Edo.” Vast numbers of people migrated into the city as workers.
The new arrivals were poor but healthy while Edokko or people who had lived in the town for several generations were suffering from “Edo Wazurai,” or beriberi. Soba turned out to be the prevention and cure, the secret that had protected the newcomers.

Beriberi is caused by a deficiency in Vitamin B. Rich people could afford polished rice; the poor ate whole rice or soba cheaper but much more nourishing. So Edo Wazurai became a condition among the rich. The actual cause of beriberi was unknown until the mid-20th century. Japanese Imperial Army doctors who studied in Germany believed it was the result of bacteria, while Navy doctors studying in England believed the cause was a dietary deficiency and proposed equipping the entire Imperial fleet with baking ovens. This did not, in the end, go forward because of budget constraints.
source : Tetsuya Iizuka (Soba Canada Inc.)


. . . CLICK here for Kagurazaka restaurant Photos !

Kagurazaka 神楽坂
is a trendy neighbourhood in Tokyo, near Iidabashi Station.

It is also widely regarded as an important center of Japanese cuisine within the Kanto region. Several old and famous "ryotei 料亭" are to be found in the winding back streets, often accessible only by foot.
These ryotei provide expensive "kaiseki" cuisine, which is generally regarded as the pinnacle of Japanese food. Ryotei also allow diners to invite geisha to provide entertainment during the course of the evening.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


hiyahiya to akagai no nuta haru no yuki

so cold, rather cold
the ark clam with miso sauce -
snow in spring

Hasegawa Kai 長谷川櫂

CLICK for more photos

akagai no himo o kamu nari Kagurazaka

I chew a lot
on the thread of the ark clam -

Sagawa Akiyoshi 佐川昭吉

場違ひの赤貝貧し雪催 鈴木真砂女 夕螢
数の帆は赤貝とりや揚雲雀 野村喜舟 小石川

赤貝と一声今日は上客にて 鳴島ナミ
赤貝のからや乗初(のりぞめ)餓鬼大将 濯資 選集「板東太郎」
赤貝のひもに終りし夜の鮓 森澄雄
赤貝の剥かれて赤さ増しにけり 鈴木久美子
赤貝の割れし殻もて進みをる 山田真砂年
赤貝の大根おろしの霙かな 久米正雄 返り花
赤貝の身内に溜めて薄き泥 小澤實
赤貝は毛ものでありし笊に笹 山田尚良
赤貝をめんこのやうに打ちつける 小口たかし
赤貝をよく噛みのちのつれづれや 津森延世
source : HAIKUreikuDB

Related words

***** WKD Kigo Index




Kurofune Monaka


Black Ship Wafers (Kurofune Monaka)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Topic
***** Category: Humanity


Kurofune monaka 黒船最中 wafers

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A handmade type of wafer with white shiroan bean paste.


Monaka 最中 waffles, wafers


The Black Ships (in Japanese, 黒船, kurofune) was the name given to Western vessels arriving in Japan between the 15th and 19th centuries. In particular, it refers to Mississippi, Plymouth, Saratoga, and Susquehanna, that arrived on July 14, 1853 at Uraga Harbor (part of present-day Yokosuka) in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan under the command of United States Commodore Matthew Perry. The word "black" refers to the black color of the older sailing vessels, and the black smoke from the coal-fired power plants of the American ships.

Commodore Perry's fleet for his second visit to Japan in 1854.

The following year, at the Convention of Kanagawa, Perry returned with eight ships and forced the shogun to sign the "Treaty of Peace and Amity", establishing formal diplomatic relations between Japan and the United States. Within five years, Japan had signed similar treaties with other western countries. The Harris Treaty was signed with the United States on July 29, 1858.

The surprise and confusion these ships inspired are described in this famous kyoka (a humorous poem similar to the 5-line waka):

泰平の . . . Taihei no
眠りを覚ます . . . Nemuri o samasu
上喜撰 . . . Jōkisen
たった四杯で . . . Tatta shihai de
夜も眠れず . . . Yoru mo nemurezu

This poem is a complex set of puns (in Japanese, kakekotoba or "pivot words"). Taihei (泰平) means "tranquil"; Jōkisen (上喜撰) is the name of a costly brand of green tea containing large amounts of caffeine; and shihai (四杯) means "four cups", so a literal translation of the poem is:

Awoken from sleep
of a peaceful quiet world
by Jokisen tea;
with only four cups of it
one can't sleep even at night.

However, there is an alternate translation, based on the pivot words. Taihei can refer to the "Pacific Ocean" (太平); jōkisen also means "steam-powered ships" (蒸気船); and shihai also means "four vessels". The poem, therefore, has a hidden meaning:

The steam-powered ships
break the halcyon slumber
of the Pacific;
a mere four boats are enough
to make us lose sleep at night.

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


了仙寺宝物館/黒船美術館 Black Ship Museum
Shimoda 下田市七軒町3-12-12
source : Black Ships in Shimoda

source : facebook - yokai


The Black Ships and Earthquakes

The year of Perry's return visit saw more than its share of major earthquakes. In addition to Odawara, two magnitude 8.4 earthquakes with offshore epicenters shook a vast area along the Pacific coast of Japan on consecutive days. The Ansei Tokai Earthquake shook a region extending south from the outskirts of Edo to Ise Bay Ise Bay on the fourth day of the eleventh month. The next day, the Ansei-Nankai Earthquake shook a wide area of the coast further south, centered approximately on the Osaka. Both earthquakes generated tsunamis, the first of which severely damaged the Russian warship Diana, which had sailed into Shimoda (near Yokohama) to negotiate a treaty. Estimates of the death toll from each quake vary, but 3,000 apiece is a typical figure.

When Edo shook in 1855, prominent bakufu official Matsudaira Shungaku (1828-1890) reacted in part by writing a memo to Abe Masahiro (阿部正弘 (1819-1857), the de facto leader of the bakufu. Matsudaira listed recent earthquakes, other natural disasters, and the unwelcome visits of American, Russian, and British naval vessels. Together with the present disaster in Edo, these events "definitely constitute a heavenly warning," he concluded. The Edo popular press and the namazu-e also retroactively linked the Ansei Earthquake with the series of severe earthquakes going back to 1847 and the recent arrival of Perry's so-called "black ships. Prevented by censorship regulations from stating the same explicit conclusion as did Matsudaira in his memo, the popular press and makers of namazu-e left such conclusions to readers' imaginations.

Shaking up Japan:
Edo society and the 1855 catfish picture prints.

source :

CLICK for more potos of namazu-e

Daruma Museum
Hyootan, Namazu and Daruma -
The Gourd, the Catfish and Daruma

なまず絵 namazu-e "catfish pictures"


'The Mission of Commodore Perry to Japan' (1854)

Scroll displays the human side of Perry’s arrival

“It’s come pretty much out of nowhere,” says British Museum curator Tim Clark, placing a small wooden box on the table — it’s about the dimensions of a shoebox, slightly weathered and lightly inscribed with fluid kanji characters. “It was in Japan until last summer, where it belonged to a dealer, and before that, we don’t know. In fact there’s still a lot about it we don’t know.”

And with that, he takes out a compact bundle, loosens the silk cord around the worn cloth cover, and lays the Japanese section’s latest, almost half-a-million-pound (¥75 million), acquisition gently down on the table and starts unrolling it. I have my dictaphone running, and when I listen back there’s almost a minute when I’ve gone completely silent as I watch Clark reveal this treasure — which goes on display to the general public on April 18.

The piece is a jawdroppingly fine, 15-meter-long handscroll depicting the arrival in Japan of Commodore Matthew C. Perry and the nine famous black ships in February 1854. It was Perry’s second visit, and culminated in the signing of the Convention of Kanagawa on March 31, which effectively ended Japan’s centuries of sakoku (closed country) diplomatic seclusion.

The scroll opens, like many a Hollywood movie since, with a wide panorama. “There were two fiefs which were charged with the defence of Japan: Kokura and Matsushiro, so we begin with the panning shot of the defensive forces in all their glory,” explains Clark. “This is what’s going to be the treaty house where they do the negotiations; this is the local shrine, still completely undeveloped.”

Cinematically, this magnificent opener is succeeded by more focused vignettes. “We’re now zooming in from the wide-angled shot,” says Clark. “Here are Perry and (Commander Henry) Adams coming up the beach. It’s like Nixon coming down the stairs of the aircraft to greet Zhou Enlai.”

Clark’s scene-by-scene commentary, as he rolls the scroll up at one end and out at the other, is likely just how the scroll would have been used by its first owner. Notably, there is no explanatory text in the scroll itself, just an introductory preface. This suggests that the scroll’s owner was someone who needed no explanation — in other words, someone who was present at the events depicted, and would tell the story himself to the favored guests who were permitted to view the work. So who was that owner? And, indeed, who was the artist? These are, it turns out, two more of the things we don’t precisely know about this remarkable piece.

Since — and before — acquiring the scroll, Clark has been doing some sleuthing, with the assistance of Japanese scholars, in particular those of the Reihaku, the National Museum of Japanese History. We know who wrote the preface, an eminent poet of the Chinese style named Onuma Chinzan (1818-1891), “so the scroll’s owner was obviously moving in high literary circles in the city of Edo,” explains Clark. “Chinzan writes: ‘Mr Maruyama had an artist paint this.’ But he doesn’t” — Clark gives a laugh of gentle exasperation — “say who the artist is.”

Maruyama’s own identity is also vague — after all, the name is not uncommon. But one of Clark’s Japanese correspondents showed him a poetry diary entry for 1858 — the year of the scroll’s completion — in which Chinzan goes mountain climbing with a Mr. Maruyama. The diary locates the pair inside the Matsushiro fief — one of the two tasked with Japan’s national defence, as shown in the scroll’s opening scenes.

Here’s where the detective work steps up a gear: the Sanada family ruled Matsushiro, and Clark has been directed to an obscure 1930s journal article which reproduces sketches made by a mid-19th century artist retained by the Sanada that are near-identical to scenes in the British Museum’s scroll. The article (authored by the artist’s son) at last gives us a name: Hibata Oosuke (1813-1870). “We can’t be totally certain yet,” says Clark, “but everything triangulates.”

As the scroll unrolls to reveal further gorgeous — and surprisingly lively — scenes of banqueting, dancing, of amazed American sailors patting the bellies and squeezing the muscles of sumo wrestlers, it is hard to understand why Japan let such a treasure go, even though other pictorial versions of the event do exist in locations within and outside Japan. “For the British Museum, with its ambitions to tell the big picture in history,” says Clark, “it is almost like our Japan Galleries were set up waiting for something of this importance and great historical and artistic interest.”

From April 18, for six months, the scroll will be displayed at the center of the gallery, a few meters visible at a time — repeat visits will be necessary to savor the full magnificence of the piece. The theme of the surrounding gallery exhibition, “The Making of Modern Japan,” provides excellent context — there are, for example, lithographs that comprise the American record of Perry’s visit.

And herein lies the historical value of the scroll — for the insight it gives into Perry’s visits as viewed by the Japanese. We’re used to a narrative of shock and awe: the Americans arriving by steamship, Commodore Perry dropping not-so-subtle hints about the offensive capability of his shell guns. The scroll tells a very different story: American officers inspect the chinaware at the treaty banquet, sneak food out in their hats to share with those too junior to attend, have their hand wrung painfully by a sumo wrestler.

“It’s the kind of thing you don’t get in the American lithographs, where everything’s going like clockwork,” says Clark. “Throughout, you get this human detail. What attitude does that actually reveal toward to Americans? It doesn’t seem to see them as a threat, more a curiosity — these people who do things differently. This scroll gives us another side of the story.”
by Victoria James
source : Japan Times, April 18, 2013


- quote
Encounters: Facing “West”
... There was, moreover, no counterpart on the Japanese side to the official artists employed by Perry—and thus no Japanese attempt to create a sustained visual (or written) narrative of these momentous interactions. What we have instead are representations by a variety of artists, most of whose names are unknown. Their artistic conventions differed from those of the Westerners. Their works were reproduced and disseminated not as lithographs and engravings or fine-line woodcuts, but largely as brightly colored woodblock prints as well as black-and-white broadsheets (kawaraban). - source :

Kawaraban on the arrival of Perry
- source :

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Poetry of Urban Life in Modern English Tanka

an industrial town
soaked to its bricks with the stink
of the river
where Black Ships tied to piers
whispered of elsewhere

Gary LeBel
source :


observance kigo for early summer

kurofune matsuri 黒船祭 (くろふねまつり)
festival of the Black Ships

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Shimoda Kurofune masturi 下田黒船祭(しもだくろふねまつり)
Festival of the Black Ships in the town of Shimoda

Kurihama Kurofune Matsuri 久里浜黒船祭(くりはまくろふねまつり)
Festival of the Black Ships in the town of Kurihama

Perii sai, periisai ペリー祭(ぺりーさい) Perry Festival

Matthew Calbraith Perry
(April 10, 1794 – March 4, 1858)
was the Commodore of the U.S. Navy who compelled the opening of Japan to the West with the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Reference : Kurofune Matsuri : Black Ships Festival

At the port of Yokosuka, there is an annual Haiku Meeting for the Kurofune Festival


kurofune ga sairai shiteru Okinawa ni

the Black Ships
came back to Japan
in Okinawa

Matsumoto Takayuki 松本孝行
(14 years)
source :

Related words


Kigo for Summer





Gangu Folk Toys

. Mingei みんげいクッキー Folk Art Cookies .
. gangu 玩具伝説, omochcha おもちゃ  toy, toys .

Folk Toys (kyoodo gangu) and Food

CLICK for more photosCLICK for many more photos

Some folk toys (kyoodo gangu 郷土玩具)
are depicted with food items.
Many are made of clay (tsuchi ningyoo 土人形), or straw.
some are clay bells.

mingeihin 民芸品 folk craft
minzokugaku 民俗学 anthropology, ethnology

Here I will collect them as I find them.

Daruma Doll Museum


© PHOTO :takashi okawa. 2004

Daruma celebrating a good catch 大漁だるま
tairyoo Daruma, taigyo Daruma (with a big fish)

Hamamatsu Hariko Doll 浜松張り子

CLICK to read the full story

Konbu Daruma こんぶ達磨 from Himeji


chadoogu, mame chadoogu 豆茶道具 tea ceremony toys

CLICK for external link to IBARAGI DOLLS

Chadoogu, mame chadoogu 豆茶道具 tea ceremony toys
From Imaichi Town, 今市市 Ibaraki
They are also made in Hakone, Kanagawa and other famous woodcarving areas.

Nikko chadogu 日光茶道具 tea toys from Nikko
miniature tea-utensils
First made by the carpenters of the Nikko Toshogu shrine, in their free time.

- source and detailed photos : tochigi-dentoukougeihin

The wood mainly used is from cherry trees, Chinese quince and zelkova.

. Tochigi Folk Art - 栃木県 .


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chanoki ningyoo 茶の木人形 dolls carved from the tea tree
Uji, Kyoto
Also called Uji Ningyoo 宇治人形, dolls from Uji
Mostly figures of women picking tea, about 5 to 10 cm high. Some are without colors.
They have been produced since the beginning of the Edo period, when Kanamori Soowa 金森宗和 (1584-1656) Kanamori Sowa started carving a statue of the tea master Sen no Rikyu, who got his tea from Uji. Carved with one knife (ittoobori), some are almost like netsuke.

. Kyoto Folk Art - 京都(府) .


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DAIKOKU 大黒天 the God of the Rice Farmers

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EBISU 恵比須(えびす) the God of the Fishermen

Here he is sitting on a sea bream (TAI 鯛) for additional good luck.
TAI is related to MEDETAI, an auspicious occasion.

Ebisu and Daikoku are usually pictured together.
They represent
Umi no Sachi, Yama no Sachi

the bounty of the sea and the mountains !

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welcoming a visitor in a restaurant or shop


INARI, Fushimi Inari, 伏見稲荷 the God of Rice

INARI and the Fox Cult

ine-uma 稲馬 horse carrying harvested rice

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スゲ細工・稲馬 made from sedge


karakuri ningyo からくり人形 mechanic dolls

Karakuri ningyō are mechanized puppets or automata from Japan from the 18th century to 19th century. The word karakuri means a "mechanical device to tease, trick, or take a person by surprise".
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

monkeys making soba buckwheat noodles

One is sifting flour, one is rolling the dough and one is eating the noodles. They move their arms.

From Narai Town, Nagano 奈良井

. Karakuri ningyoo からくり人形 mechanical dolls .



kometsuki kuruma 米つき車 wheels for pounding rice
From Aichi, Toshogu 東照宮

This is a kind of KARAKURI doll.

. Karakuri ningyoo からくり人形 mechanical dolls .


Koobe ningyoo, Kobe Ningyo 神戸人形
mechanical dolls from Kobe, Kobe Dolls

CLICK here for original LINK .. Man drinking Sake
CLICk for original LINK
Boy cutting melon

. Kobe mechanical dolls 神戸人形 Introduction .


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kijiuma, kiji-uma きじ馬 pheasant with wheels
From Hitoyoshi 人吉, Kumamoto
Many craftsmen of the area made furniture. These toys were made in memory of Kyoto, since many had fled here after the Battle of Dan-no-Ura, when the Heike were defeated in 1185.
. kijiguruma きじ車  pheasant on wheels

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Koi nobori 鯉幟 carp streamers for Boys  
May 5


The beckoning cat welcoming visitors


manjuu kui ningyo 饅頭食い人形 Boy Eating Manju
From Fushimi
Eating Manju Buns
manjuu kui ningyoo
A boy holds a bun broken in two halves, to show he loves his father and his mother equally. When asked whom he loved more, father or mother, that was his way of showing it. He broke the bun in equal halves and asked: "Which tastes better?"

Now these dolls are bought with a prayer to become pregnant and have such a clever child.

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Fushimi Clay Dolls / 伏見土人形

. Mingei Kukkii みんげいクッキー Mingei Folk Art Cookies - Manju .

Here are some more clay dolls with Manju buns.

. Folk Toys from Kyoto .

. Muraoka dolls 村岡人形 - Hyogo -


CLICK for more MITO dolls

noo ningyoo 農人形 dolls of farmers
from Mito 水戸

This one is putting down his hat to collect rice grains left in the field.
Other dolls are making dried plums, fermented soy beans or ricewine.
They are made of metal.

te no hira ni tsuyu no omomi no noo ningyoo

in my palm
the weight of farmer's dolls
wet from the rains

Kageshima Tomoko 影島智子

. Folk toys from IBARAKI / IBARAGI .


sea bream (TAI 鯛) for additional good luck
TAI is related to MEDETAIめでたい, an auspicious occasion.

CLICK for a few more photos
iwai tai, iwaitai 祝い鯛、祝鯛 tai sea bream for festivities
They are made from papermachee and straw and sold at the local Nishi no Miya shrine.
from Shizuoka,Yokota Town 横田町の西之宮神
. Hikosan no iwaidai dorei 英彦山の祝鯛土鈴
clay bell with festive sea bream .


CLICK for more Fushimi Dolls
Boy with Sea Bream
Fushimi Ningyoo 伏見人形 doll from Fushimi, Kyoto
also called 富山人形

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pinpin tai ピンピン鯛 sea bream "alive and kicking"
From Kusatsu, Shiga 滋賀・草津

taiguruma 鯛車 sea bream on a float
Izumo, Miyoshi and other towns


tawara ushi 俵牛 ox carrying rice barrels

There are many types in Japan. Some are clay bells. They are important auspicious items to thank for a good harvest.


warazaiku 藁細工 things made from straw

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During the winter months, many things were made from rice straw. Mostly necessities like sandals, raincoats and hats, but also some toys and auspicious decorations with rice barrels.

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

A lullaby

Nenneko, nenneko nenneko ya!
Kono ko nashite naku-yara?
O-chichi ga taranuka? — o-mama ga taranuka?
Ima ni ototsan no ōtoto no o-kaeri ni
Ame ya, o-kashi ya, hii-hii ya,
Gara-gara, nagureba fuito tatsu
Oki-agari koboshi! — 起き上がり小法師
Neneko, neneko, nenneko ya!

Okiagari koboshi Rolly-Polly Dolls

Sleep, sleep, sleep, little one!
Why does my baby continue to cry?
Is the honorable milk not enough?
is the honorable rice not enough?
Presently when father returns from the Lord's palace,
Sweets will be given to you, and also cake,
and all you want !
And a rattle as well, and a rolly-polly doll
That will stand up immediately
after being thrown down.
Sleep, sleep, sleep, little one!


External Links

with many photos

Japan Toy Museum 日本玩具博物館 
English Homepage

omocha おもちゃ Cooking Toys


Japanese cooking toys おもちゃ

There has been a boom in cooking toys in Japan. Those toys are so attractive that even adults buy them for themselves. Some of popular cooking toys are Takara Tommy's taiyaki (traditional Japanese fish-shaped cake) makers and soft caramel candy makers, Sega Toy's ice cream makers, and Bandai's norimaki (sushi rolls) makers. Using cute cooking toys, both kids and adults can have fun at home.
source : Shizuko's Japan Travel Blog . gojapan.about
International Tokyo Toy Show 2009 .


ushimitsu no wara ningyoo ga warau yoru

after midnight
the straw doll laughs-
what a night

or more literal

the night when
the straw doll laughs
after midnight

anonymous senryu

藁人形 wara ningyo,
a doll used for making a wish to kill or harm a person. At midnight, a nail is hit through the heart of the doll to fix it to a tree in a shrine.

ushi mitsu, the old double-hour of the ox beginning at one o'clock. mitsu signifies the third part of this time slot. A time when the spirits of the dead and the gods are alive too.

"a time when the trees and plants are asleep"


Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶


Kobayashi Issa (June 15, 1763 - January 5, 1828)

Related words

Daruma Doll Museum

Tairyoobata (tairyobata) 大漁旗 Ships Flags ...
and Big Fish Catch, Tairyoo 大漁 Daruma Doll

***** WASHOKU : General Information

***** . Regional Folk Toys from Japan .


. hassaku dango no uma 朔だんご馬/ 八朔団子馬 horse offerings for Hassaku .
Sanuki, Kagawa

玩具菓子 - 郷土玩具と菓子、または遊び菓子 - tba

あてもの菓子 . 弘前の生大王

- source : -


. gangu 玩具伝説, omochcha おもちゃ toy, toys .
Spielzeug und Legenden

. Mingei みんげいクッキー Folk Art Cookies .