Showing posts sorted by relevance for query hunger. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query hunger. Sort by date Show all posts




Famine in spring (shunkyuu)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Late spring
***** Category: Humanity


Shunkyuu 春窮 (しゅんきゅう)
food scarcity in spring
famine, Lebensmittelknappheit im Fruehling

From April to May, when the provisions for winter where coming to an end and the new harvest not yet ready, rural people, especially in Hokkaido and Northern Japan had to live through hard times, food-wise. Sometimes they would use the roots of plants and trees and edible leaves from trees to prepare their meager meals.


Great famine periods in the Japanese history
kikin 飢饉

They were caused by coldness, drought or too much rain, volcanic eruptions and other natuaral disasters that influenced the rice harvest.

養和の飢饉 - 1181年に発生。Yoowa

寛喜の飢饉 - 1231年に発生。 Kangi
長禄・寛正の飢饉 - 1459年-1461年 Chooroku
Famine of 1619

The four big famine periods in the Edo time

寛永の大飢饉 Kanei, 1642, drought
享保の大飢饉 Kyooho, 1732, locusts
天明の大飢饉 Tenmei, 1782, Mt. Asama eruption
天保の大飢饉 Tenpoo, Tenpo 1832 - 1839, flooding and cold

昭和東北大飢饉 - 1930年~1934年。 Shoowa time

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

CLICK for more photos
The famine of Tenmei

Sweets from Tohoku, Northern Japan
Prepared during the Tenmei famine

koorimochi 凍もち frozen mochi
matsukawa mochi 松皮餅(まつかわもち)"mochi from pine bark"

Yakimochi Fudoo Son 焼き餅不動尊
and the famine of Tenmei around Mount Asama


hotarumeshi, hotaru meshi ホタル飯 "firefly rice"
ほたるめし / 蛍飯

During the hunger periods. 190 g rice was cooked with 4,300 g of starowort leaves (yomena) and mugwort (yomogi). The few white rice grains would look like fireflies in the green leaves mush.

Another way to make cooked rice last longer during a famine was putting more water into rice gruel, calling it
"mirror rice" (kagami meshi 鏡飯) or
omoyu おもゆ 重湯).

100 Dishes from Edo

Worldwide use

Hungersnot, Hungerperiode

Things found on the way

kome kui nezumi 米喰鼠 / 米食いねずみ mouse eating rice
folk toy from Ishikawa

. Mouse and the Famine of Tenpo .


shunkyuu no amari kamisori togi ni keri

severe spring famine ...
he begins to sharpen
his razor

Ishikawa Keiroo 石川桂郎
Tr. Gabi Greve


odoke dolls -
not enough farmers left
to keep things going

the great famine of Tenmei in 1782 in Soma, Fukushima

. Fukushima Folk Toys .

Related words

HUNGER and Haiku

. Japanese Legends - 伝説 民話 昔話 – ABC-List .
Legends about famine are in the comments below.

***** General Information


- #kikin #famineinedo #hungersnot -


Rice Reis, meshi gohan


Rice, Reis, with many Japanese words

The Japanese Rice Culture -
die Reiskultur Japans.

Rice is the staple food of Japan.
There are many words for it, from the plant to the cooked product. Many of them are kigo.

Rice plant (ine 稲, sanae 早苗 )
Rice grains are called "kome, mai 米".
On the table and cooked, it is called

"Gohan" ご飯 or "meshi" 飯 めし.

CLICK for more tanada photos
Tanada ... Terraced rice fields of my home in Ohaga
Gabi Greve, Japan

Japan is a rice-growing culture. It has many regional celebrations and rituals related to rice growing and harvesting.
Rice is traditionally much more than just food.

Please read this first and come back:

Japanese Rice Culture
by Nold Egenter

Imperial Rituals in Japan
The Emperor, embodying the god of the ripened rice plant, plants the first rice of the spring and harvests rice from the plants of the autumn. In one of the most solemn Shinto ceremonies of the year the Emperor, acting as the country's chief Shinto priest, ritually sows rice in the royal rice paddy on the grounds of the Imperial Palace.

The Great Food Offering —in which the Emperor spends the night with the Sun Goddess as a dinner guest—is something every emperor is required to do shortly after ascending to the throne. First recorded in A.D. 712, the ritual takes place at night because the Sun Goddess is in the sky during the day.

The rite follows a ritual bath, symbolizing purification, and takes place in two simple huts, made of unpealed logs and lit with oil lamps, erected on the Imperial Palace ground in Tokyo. The huts are believed to represent the original first huts where Jimmu Tenno communed with the Sun Goddess.

During the Great Food Offering, the Emperor absorbs some of the Sun Goddess spirit and thus "becomes a kind of living ancestor of the entire Japanese family." The pre-World War II belief that the Emperor was a living god is based on this ritual.
Murray Sayle wrote in the New Yorker, "I witnessed the most recent Great Food Offering....from my position behind a police barrier a hundred yards away. During my chilly vigil, all I saw was a figure in white silk—presumably the Emperor—flitting from one small building to another. It took perhaps one second in all."

No one but the Emperor has ever witnessed the ceremony. According to a press release from the Imperial Household Agency, "The new Emperor ... offers newly-harvested rice to the Imperial Ancestor [the Sun Goddess] and the deities of Heaven and Earth and then partakes of the rice himself, expresses gratitude to the Imperial Ancestor and these deities for peace and abundant harvests, and prays for the same on behalf of the country and people."
source :

A set of harvest festivals in November carried out at the imperial palace and shrines throughout the country:
. Niiname sai 新嘗祭
"Celebrations of the First Taste" .

November 23

. Inari 稲荷 Fox Deity, Rice Deity .

. Toyouke no Ookami 豊受大神
The Great Deity that gives Bountiful .

Deity of Rice and Food

. Akamai shinji 赤米神事 ritual of the red rice .
At Takuzutama Shrine 多久虫玉神社, Tsushima Island, Nagasaki

mikeden 御鐉殿(みけでん) "the sacred dining hall"
for the deities at Ise shrine.

Higoto asayū ōmike sai
A celebration at the Grand Shrines of Ise (Ise Jingū) in which sacred food is offered twice daily, in the morning and evening, to Amaterasu Ōmikami and other deities.
Also referred to as the regular sacred offering (jōten mike), this celebration corresponds to the daily offering (Onikku) ceremony conducted at ordinary shrines. In response to a dream revelation from Amaterasu Ōmikami during Emperor Yūryaku's reign, Toyouke Ōmikami was moved from Tanba Province to Ise Shrine as the tutelary deity of foodstuffs (miketsu kami).

Based on this lineage, kami seats (shinza) for Amaterasu Ōmikami, Toyouke Ōmikami, and a "deity enshrined on a subordinate altar in the same honden" (aidono no kami) are built in the Outer Shrine's Sacred Dining Hall (Mikeden). The Mikeden has an ancient architectural style with "log storehouse" (ita azekura) wall construction and steps carved from a single piece of timber (kizami kizahashi).
This structure is also where members of the Watarai priestly clan have traditionally served in such roles as senior priests (negi) reciting the norito or as children who observe votive abstinence and serve in ritual services (monoimi).

With the Meiji Restoration, shinza were added to auxiliary sanctuaries (betsugū) and senior priests, junior priests (gonnegi), and shrine administrators (gūshō) began serving inside the Mikeden. Although "Meiji-Period Rules for Ritual Procedures at Jingū" (Jingū Meiji saishiki) did not designate this ceremony as a matsuri, the later "Regulations on Ritual Observances at Jingū" (Jingū saishirei) positioned it as a lesser festival (chūsai) and named it Higotoasayū ōmikesai.
Whereas other Ōmike ceremonies take place in front of the main sanctuary (shōden) building, this celebration is unique because the deity is "worshipped at a distance" (yōhai) from inside the Mikeden.
source : Nakanishi Masayuki, 2006, Kokugakuin

Shingu shinden 新宮神田 rice fields for the deities
at Ise shrine. 神田(しんでん=神殿)
They are 3 hectar large.

. Ise Grand Shrine (伊勢神宮 .

. shinden 神田 - saiden 斎田 "divine rice field" .

. Hoozuki ichi 鬼燈市 lampion flower market .
shiman rokusen nichi 四万六千日 46000 days
Why 46000 days, you might ask?
This is supposed to be the number of rice grains in one Japanese measure of rice, Japan being an old rice-growing nation and wasting even one grain of it was a big sin.

The koku, kokudaka (石/石高) is a Japanese unit of volume, equal to ten cubic shaku. In this definition, 3.5937 koku equal one cubic metre, i.e. 1 koku is approximately 278.3 litres. The koku was originally defined as a quantity of rice, historically defined as enough rice to feed one person for one year (one masu is enough rice to feed a person for one day).
A koku of rice weighs about 150 kilograms.
During the Edo period of Japanese history, each han (fiefdom) had an assessment of its wealth, and the koku was the unit of measurement.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


Some vocabulary

chagayu 大和の茶がゆ rice gruel cooked with tea and
chahan 茶飯 / 大和茶飯 rice boiled with tea and soy beans
from Nara prefecture 

daikon-meshi 大根飯 rice with radish
gekochter Reis mit geschnetzeltem Rettich

gohan no tomo ご飯の供 "friend of the cooked rice"
condiments and food you place on your rice bowl, for example furikake
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
CLICK for more photos gohan no tomo ご飯の友 "friend of cooked rice"
a spedial brand from Kumamoto. A kind of furikake, with various flavors.
shiso perilla, hijiki seaweed, spicy sesame, norigoma seaweed with sesame

gyohan 魚飯 "fish rice"
Special dish served for celebrations, especially along the Inland Sea and at Takehara. The rich owners of salt production fields served it to their visitors.
Various ingredients are finely shredded, the shrimp flavored with salt. The ingredients are served separately on a huge plate. Each visitor takes a bit of each on his bowl of rice, then plenty of dashi soup is added.

kama-meshi 釜飯 rice, meat, and vegetables boiled together in a small pot
Gericht, bei dem Reis mit den anderen Zutaten zusammen in einem kleinen Topf gedämpft wird
Reis und Beilagen im gleichen Topf gekocht

katemeshi かて めし (糅飯) rice mixed with vegetables, radish, seaweed or other ingredients to make it last longer in times of scarcity
gemischter Reis

kenmai 献米 rice offering
. shinjin kyooshoku 神人共食
God and Man eating together .

shinsen 神饌 Shinto- Food offerings / Shinto-Speiseopfer
shinsenmai 神饌米 Reis als Speise-Opfergabe in Shinto-Zeremonien.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

koge, o-koge, okoge, rice crust in the pot おこげ (御焦げ)
kogemeshi こげめしdishes with okoge
festgebackener Reis, angebrannter Reis am Topfboden

mochi もち (餅) pounded rice taffy
das Mochi; Reiskuchen

nuka ぬか (糠) rice bran

ojiya, o-jiya おじや kind of rice gruel with miso base
The name comes from the sound of the slowly cooking broth, jiyajiya じやじや.
kigo for winter
dicke Reissuppe; (mit Miso oder Sojasoße gewürzt)

o-kayu, okayu, kayu 粥 rice gruel
Reissuppe; Reisgrütze
auch ojiya genannt.
(nicht identisch mit dem in Deutschland als REISBREI bekannten Gericht mit Zimt und Zucker)
. . . Chinowagayu, chinowa-gayu 茅の輪粥 rice porridge
chi no wa kayu, served on the last day of the sixth month.

kodaimai こだいまい 古代米 rice of old / my photo
rice from the time of the gods
genmai, gokoku mai

o-kowa, okowa おこわ (御強) "the honorable strong one"
mix of regular Japanese short grain rice and mochi-gome, sticky rice cooked with other ingredients.
kowameshi こわめし
Mochi-Klebreis mit roten Bohnen

Onigiri おにぎり rice balls
der Onigiri; Reiskloß, Reisball


sakameshi (さかめし - 酒飯)  "rice wine rice"
special fermented rice kooji used for brewing Sake. It was used by the poor of Edo boiled a bit to make it a Kowameshi 強飯 .

sakameshi no tenohira ni kakaru mizore kana

my poor dinner
in the palm of my hand...
falling sleet

Tr. David Lanoue

sleet falls
on a palm holding
steamed rice for sake

Tr. Chris Drake

This hokku was written on 10/28 (Dec. 11) in 1803, when Issa was living in Edo. The hokku and the hokku following it in Issa's diary seem to be based on a visit to a sake brewery. Issa had just written a kasen renku sequence with the poet and rich merchant Seibi, so he could have gone with Seibi to visit a brewery. In any case, Issa is interested by the newly steamed rice that one of the brewers seems to be inspecting.

The rice used in making sake is first washed and steam-cooked (not boiled) and then cooled before it is mixed with the other ingredients. This specially steamed rice is still fairly hard on the outside and is not considered food or delicious. The brewer needs to test its feel, smell, color, body, and whether it's been cooked enough, but it's a dark winter day and there are only a few oil lamps inside for light, so he carries a handful of the rice outside the brewery door, where it's lighter and he can see better. The way the warm steam rises up from the rice through the cold sleet falling on it perhaps suggests the intensity of the brewer's stare and his obvious strong desire to steam the latest batch of rice inside just the right amount.

Chris Drake

The cut marker KANA is at the end of line 3.

. WKD : Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 in Edo .


sakurameshi (さくらめし) 桜飯、桜めし "cherryblossom rice"
boiled with sake and soy sauce
sakura gohan さくらご飯 "cherry blossom rice" Shizuoka
mit Sojasoße und Sake gekochter Reis

sekihan 赤飯(せきはん) "red rice"
cooked for celebrations
Reis für Feierlichkeiten, mit roten Bohnen, Reis mit roten Bohnen
Usually salt with black sesame (gomajio) is used to sprinkle over the rice, but in the town of Naruto, Tokushima, people use freshly ground white sesame with a lot of sugar. (The salt fields of Naruto provided people with cheap salt, so on a festive day, they wanted to eat something better, sweet sugar.

semai 施米 (せまい) alms of rice

kigo for late summer
Every year in the sixth lunar month, the Heian court officials would give offerings to the temples and poor begging monks of the capital, Kyoto. Often they also gave some salt.
Summer Ceremonies SAIJIKI

shiina 粃 unripe rice
Bezeichnung für taube Reiskörner, unreifer Reis; unreife Ähre, unreife Frucht

sutamina raisu スタミナライス stamina rice
a plate of rice, pork cutlet, cut cabbage and vegetables fried with sesame oil (Chinese style) and a fried egg on top of it all
From Nemuro town, Hokkaido 北海道根室
There are many dishes with a plate of rice and various topping, Western style. The influence of Western Food was quite strong in this part of Hokkaido.
panchi raisu パンチライス "ice with a punch"
(with sauted pork, some spagetti, a fried egg on a plate of rice)
esukaroppu エスカロップ escalop

takikomi gohan, takikomigohan たきこみご飯 ・ 炊き込みご飯
mixed rice since a number of ingredients are added in the rice.
source : / Recipe
Reis gekocht mit weiteren Zutaten

. taue meshi 田植飯(たうえめし)rice eaten during rice planting  
usually some nigiri for all the participants, eaten in a hurry to finish the work needed for the day.
tauezakana 田植肴(たうえざかな)side dishes for rice planting
usually a few slices of pickled radish takuan and plums (umeboshi).
kigo for mid-summer

togi-jiru, togijiru とぎじる(研ぎ汁)
water in which rice has been washed
Wasser, in dem Reis oder andere Nahrungsmittel gescheuert worden sind

yuzu gohan ゆず御飯 rice with yuzu citrons at temple Sanpo-ji, Kyoto

zakkoku mai, ざっこく(雑穀) rice mixed with various cereal grains like buckwheat, millet, whole grains and mixed seeds
(minderwertige) Geteidesorten
Getreidesorten außer Reis und Weizen

zoosui 雑炊 rice gruel, rice soup with ingredients like vegetables and chicken
Reissuppe mit Gemüse. #zosui

The great rice paddle in Miyajima 宮島しゃもじ
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


kiganmai 祈願米 "consecrated rice"
It is first placed in front of the deity in a Shinto shrine or a Buddhist temple and the priest performs purifying rites with his wand or chants sutras for purification. Later this rice is sold in the shops to bring happiness for the new year, help students pass the examinations and keep people healthy.

Many shrines in Japan perform these rites during the New Year festivities. Click on the photo to see some more.
shoofuku kigan mai 招福祈願米
consecrated rice to bring good luck

The rites were performed for example at Temple Saidai-Ji in Okayama in January 6, 2010.

peanuts are also consecrated in this way.
shoofuku kigan mame (kiganmame) 招福祈願豆

Beans are also consecrated for the Setsubun festivities on February 2/3.


kome kona, kome no kona こめこな / 米の粉 rice flour
ground rice powder

The group "Food Action Nippon" is promoting the use of this, to increase the food self-sufficiency of Japan.
. . . Reference : FOOD ACTION NIPPON(フードアクションニッポン)
Flour is used for noodles, bread and cakes or mixed with wheat flour.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


observance kigo for the New Year

hatsu kashigi 初炊ぎ (はつかしぎ) first cooking (of rice)
kashigizome 炊ぎ初(かしぎぞめ)
takizome 炊初(たきぞめ), takizome 焚初(たきぞめ)
wakameshi 若飯(わかめし)first cooked rice

hatsu kamado 初竈 (はつかまど)
first use of the hearth (fire)

Firsts things in the New Year


in the World Kigo Database

Fields, rice paddies (ta, hatake) Japan

God of the Rice Paddies (田の神 ta no kami) Japan

. . . . . fukidawara 蕗俵(ふきだわら)"butterbur barrels" as an offering to the God of the Fields

kometsuki 米搗き professional grain pounders

Nikkoo Goohan-Shiki 日光強飯式Gohanshiki.
Ceremony of eating large bowls of rice

Pounding Rice (mochi tsuki) Japan, Philippines
..... New Year's Rice Dumplings (toshi no mochi, kagamimochi, zoonimochi) and a few more
..... The Hare/Rabbit in the Moon

Raw fish, sashimi, sushi and .. rice balls (onigiri) Japan

..... Rice plants (ine) Japan. A list of kigo. New rice
(shinmai 新米 (しんまい))

Rice fields(tanbo, tanada) Japan. A list of kigo.

Rice cake offerings for the New Year (kagami mochi) Japan

Rice gruel (kayu) Japan. Porridge, congee in many kigo.

Rice wine (ricewine) sake, Japan Reiswein

Withered rice paddies (karita) Japan


25 komebitsu small wood bowl for rice

komebitsu 米びつ container to keep cooked rice for serving


CLICK for more photos

meshizaru 飯笊 (めしざる) basket for rice
..... meshikago 飯籠(めしかご)
Mostly of woven bamboo, which has some ability to keep the rice from getting bad in summer.
Before putting the rice in the basket, a towel is spread to prevent the rice grains from getting squeezed in the holes of the basket.
kigo for all summer

- quote
jikirou 食籠 jikiroo, jikiro
A lidded food container,
usually layered and lacquered with decorations of sunken gold *chinkin 沈金, carved lacquer *choushitsu 彫漆, mother-of-pearl inlay *raden 螺鈿, or metal leaf decoration, haku-e 箔絵, or sometimes of plain black lacquer, woven bamboo, or pottery. Round, quadrilateral hexagonal, octagonal and circular flower shapes are common.
Made in Yuan and Ming period China and in the Ryuukyuu 琉球 (now Okinawa prefecture), jikirou have been imported to Japan since the Kamakura period. They were later used as sweets containers at tea ceremonies.
A common type is the juubako 重箱 (tiered food box) usually covered with *makie 蒔絵 and consisting of two, three, five or more tiers to store cooked rice, stewed dished, fish, or raw vegetables separately. In the Edo period juubako were common at picnics, and used with sagejuu 提重 (a picnic box holding various food and beverage containers in a light and compact form). The upper classes had highly decorated lacquer boxes while the lower classes had plain wood or unadorned lacquered grounds.
- source : Jaanus

. kago 籠 / 篭 / かご basket, baskets of all kinds .


ohachi-ire 飯櫃入 (おはちいれ) container to keep the rice warm
(word used in Kanto)
hitsuire 櫃入れ(ひついれ)(word used in Kansai)
ohachibuton 飯櫃蒲団(おはちぶとん)quilt to cover it
ohachifugo 飯櫃畚(おはちふご)straw mat to cover it
A container made from straw with a lid. The rice containder with the cooked rice (komebitsu) was put it here to keep the rice warm for the next meal.
kigo for all winter

ohachi-ire shibuhikari to mo susuhikari to mo

warmer for cooked rice -
shines of incrustations
shines of soot

Takahama Kyoshi 高浜虚子


Dishes with mostly rice

Bibimba, Korean rice dish
Koreanisches Reisgericht

Chaahan, fried rice
gebratener Reis, chinesische Art

Schale Reis mit Beilagen und grünem Tee übergossen

Chikin raisu, chicken rice
Huhn auf Reis

Schale mit gekochtem Reis und Beilagen

Reiseintopf mit Fisch oder Hühnerfleisch
Italian food イタリアン料理 Spaghetti, Pizza, Pasta, Doria, Pesto

Gomoku gohan (kayaku gohan)
Reis mit aufgeletem Gemüse und Fischstücken

Hayashi raisu
Haschee auf Reis

Karee raisu, curry rice

Kuppa, Korean rice soup
Koreanische Reissuppe

Makunouchi bentoo
Lunchpaket „zwischen den Akten“

Meshi, gohan, white cooked rice
Weißer Reis

Reis mit fermentierten Natto-Bohnen

Schale Reis mit grünem Tee übergossen

Mochireis-Klößchen, mit Anko bedeckt

Okayu, kayu, simple rice soup
Einfache Reissuppe

Mochi-Klebreis mit roten Bohnen

Ojiya, thick rice soup
Dicke Reissuppe

Omuraisu, omlet with rice
Omelett mit Reis

Reiskloß, Reisball

Pilaf, gebratener Reis

Takikomigohan, rice cooked with further ingredients
Reis gekocht mit weiteren Zutaten

Tamagokakegohan, rice with a raw egg
„Reis mit rohem Ei“

Zoosui, rice soup with other ingredients
Reissuppe mit weiteren Zutaten


SHU 13 rice cooking 051119

cooking rice in Japan

はじめちょろちょろなかぱっぱ 赤子泣いても蓋とるな
hajime choro-choro, naka pappa,
akago naitemo futa toru na

First use low heat, then turn it up in the middle
and never take off the lid even if your baby cries.

Anfangs choro-choro, langsam anheizen bis es Blasen gibt und man das Blubbern hört, dann kräftig weiterkochen, bis das Wasser papp-pa zischt.
Und auf keinen Fall den Deckel abheben, selbst wenn die Kinder vor Hunger weinen.

The first slow heat gives the grains time to soak up water choro-choro. When they are full of water they can be cooked much faster papp-pa. And after cooking, keep it standing for a while (even if the children are hungry).

Auch die Reihenfolge in der Familie beim Reisessen war festgelegt.

Even the order of eating rice in the family was given.
First the children.
Then the menfolk, starting with the eldest.
Next the mother-in-law and other in-law family members.
Finally the daughter in law.


tsuyu shimeri karee raisu o tabe ni keri

humid rainy season ...
I go out to eat some
curry rice

Wakimoto Maki 脇本 眞樹(塾長)
月曜日, 6月 29, 2009


kinako musubi "きな粉むすび" rice balls with bean flour

niawashi ya mame no ko meshi ni sakura-gari

so fitting -
bean-flour rice balls
while blossom hunting

Tr. Barnhill

Written in 1690 元禄3年
While visiting Iga Ueno.

mame no ko meshi is cooked rice sprinkled with kinako bean powder (kinako meshi きな粉飯), which can be formed to musubi balls. This is simple but nurrishing food for the very poor.
sakura-gari is an expression referring to the elegant cherry blossom parties of the court of the Heian period. The normal word would be hanami.
Here Basho contrasts the simple food with a free enjoyment of blossoms, just right for the haikai friends in Ueno.


seri gohan 芹の飯 cooked rice with dropwort

waga tame ka tsuru hami-nokosu seri no meshi

just for me -
the crane left over some
rice with dropwort

A disciple from Iga brought this dish to his master.
Ishikawa Senten 石川山店
dates unknown.
He was the younger brother of Ishikawa Hokkon 北鯤.
One of his hokku is in Sarumino.

1683. Basho is reminded of a a line in the poem by the Chinese poet Du Fu (Tu Fu), imagining the rice gruel at a shop in Seidei town. He is also comparing his disciple Senten to a crane, which likes dropwort very much.
Senten spared some of his own rice and gave it to him.

meshi ni wa niru Seidei bootei no seri

For cooking rice
dropwort picked at the embankment
of Seidei pond are best.

Seidei 青泥 was a town near the capital of Cho-an 長安, China.

is it for me
the crane leaves rice with parsley
for me to eat

Tr. Reichhold

Hokku about food and rice dishes by
. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .

. Japanese parcely 芹 seri, dropwort .
Oenanthe javanica
kigo for spring


Poem by Du Fu.


Types of Japanese Rice .. 米 kome, mai

Favorite Rice Dishes from Edo .

My photos with RICE !

Traditional Folk Toys : Rice and Rice straw dolls

"Planting rice" Ohno Bakufu (1888-1976)
source : facebook


. Fertility rites - praying for a good harvest .


For more words with RICE as food, check the main
WASHOKU ... Japanese Food SAIJIKI



Nagano Prefecture



Nagano Prefecture (長野県, Nagano-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region of the island of Honshū. The capital is the city of Nagano.
Nagano was formerly known as the province of Shinano.

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Lake Suwa, Suwako 諏訪湖
It ranks 24th in Japan in surface area.

Temple Zenkoji
WKD : Temple Zenkoji Gokaicho 善光寺

Rokuben, Bento for a kabuki performance
ろくべん, 大鹿歌舞伎
Nagano、Oshika mura 大鹿村

growing area of daikon radish for takuan pickles.

Matsumoto Castle (松本城 ,Matsumoto-jō)
also known as Fukashi Castle, is a flatland castle and one of Japan's historic castles. Located in the city of Matsumoto, in Nagano Prefecture.
This castle is also called "Crow Castle" because of its black walls and spreading wings. It is an example of a flatland castle, not being built on a hilltop or amid rivers.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Its moat is about 60 meters wide, just enough to protect the buildings from the bullets of guns, that had just been introduced to Japan.
The outside walls are painted with laquer to protect it from catching fire easily and craftsmen in many generations are doing the painting for three months every year, hanging from safety ropes high up on the castle walls.
During the peaceful Edo period, a "Tower to watch the moonshine" tsukimi yagura 月見櫓 was also build. It has a beautiful red railing painted in red laquer to protect it from the elements.
. . . CLICK here for tsukimi yagura Photos !


Kaida kogen (Kaida koogen 開田高原)
Kaida Highlands

at the foot of Mount Ontake 御岳
They grow a lot of buckwheat and when cut, hang it on the fields in a special manner that looks like a person standing up (sobadate 蕎麦立て. そば立て)
CLICK for more photos
Once the army of the enemy was fooled by the vision and thought hundreds of soldiers were waiting for them ... and retreated without a fight.

sunki-zuke, sunkizuke スンキ漬 / スンキ漬け fermented red turnip stems and leaves
akakabu no kuki. (zunki, tsunki)
from Kiso, South-West Nagano
The name comes from "sour stems" suppai kuki ... sunki.
Since there was no salt in the old days, the fermentation of vegetables to keep for winter was introduced with the juice of wild grapes (yamabudoo).  Each housewife had her own taste, keeping about 8 bunches of the turnips to put them in the bucket for the next year to ferment into lactobacteria Milchsaurebakterien. The fermentation provided the vitamies for winter.
Before pickling, the small bit of turnip with the leaves is blanched in hot water for about 8 seconds to kill the bacteria. When fermenting over night, it needs a special temperature provided by the cold wind of the area in winter.
Grandmothers make as much as they can do themselves, from growing the turnips to harvesting and pickling. They give away much to their children and grandchildren, but there are fewer families now to make them.
CLICK here for PHOTOS !
These pickles are put over a dish of freshly made buckwheat noodles
sunki toojisoba スンキとうじ蕎麦
or fried with tofu. Even sunki on pizza is now tried by the local farmwifes, who have founded a group to "Study the use of sunki".
The red turnips are put in the ground right in the fields, covered with earth and dug out in small portions to be eaten in winter by the farmers. They also pickle them now with salt as normal tsukemono, when the turnips take on the red-purple color from the outside.

In the Kaida area the old type of the real KISO UMA 木曾馬, horses from the Kiso area, are now kept again and villagers are trying to increase their number.

Farmers used to live with the horses under one roof and feed them dry grass in the wintertime. The area now still has more than 1000 stone markers to pray for the safety of the horses to Bato Kannon (Batoo Kannon 馬頭観音), Kannon in an incarnation with horse heads above her head.
. . . CLICK here for horse Photos !

. . . CLICK here for more Kannon Photos !


Nagano regional dishes 長野郷土料理

CLICK for more NAGANO Dishes

basashi 馬刺し raw horse meat
Horse meat, baniku (ばにく/ 馬肉) basashi, sakuranabe
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

- - - - -

gohei mochi, goheimochi 五平餅 grilled rice dumplings
Made from rice flour. Grilled with a sauce of miso and walnuts (kurumi).
Also made in Eastern Gifu.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Gohei mochi offering for
. Yamanokami in Toyama 富山県 .

Gohei mochi offering for
Yama no Kami 山の神 Deity of the Mountains in Gifu
. Sake 酒 rice wine for regional rituals .

. Guhin mochi 狗賓餅 rice cakes for the Guhin Tengu Yokai .
Guhin mochi were later called Gohei mochi 五平餅.

- - - - -

koi ryoori 鯉料理 carp dishes
koi koku, koi-koku 鯉こく carp dish
carp is cut in rings and pickled in Shinshu miso paste. Then simmered for a long time in miso paste. A kind of carp soup.
The town of Saku is famous for carp cultivation, more than 300 years, with clear water ponds. The water in the Shinshu area is quite cold and carp are strong.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

koi no arai 鯉のあらい carp innards
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

kurumi ohagi, kurumi o-hagi くるみおはぎ
dumplings with walnut paste
A sauce is made from fried walnuts in soysauce and sugar.
The town of Tomi 東御市 is known for its production of walnuts.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
Walnuts have been introduced to the area from America. Before that, there were two sorts of wild Japanese varieties with much smaller, harder nuts.
Kurumi 胡桃Walnut, KIGO

inekoki-na 稲核菜
Leaves of the trunip in the Inekoki area
Rübenblätter aus der Region Inekoki.

Jibachi senbei 地蜂煎餅, 地蜂せんべいWasp rice crackers

mannen-zushi 万年ずし "10000 Sushi"
From the area of Ootaki Village
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

nira senbei ニラせんべい crackers with Chinese leek
Nira can be used fresh from spring to autumn. All families prepare this kind, which is rather an omelette flavored with soy sauce and sugar.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Nozawana-zuke 野沢菜漬 nozawanazuke
pickled green leafy vegetable
Vegetable from Nozawa hot spring, Nagano.

oshibori udon おしぼりうどん "udon noodles in wrought-out sauce"
from Hanishina-gun 埴科郡坂城町
made with a rather pungent radish, "rat radish" nezumi daikon ねずみ大根, which is grated and the juice mixed with Shinshu Miso paste. The noodles are dipped in the sauce.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


oyaki, o-yaki おやき , お焼き, 御焼(き)
grilled dumplings with vegetables

eaten everywhere in Nagano, especially during the O-Bon ancestor festival.
Their place of origin is said to be the Azumino area 安曇野(あづみの).
Known since the Muromachi period, sometimes seen as a rural kind of simple manjuu.
Mountain vegetables (sansai) and seasonal vegetables are fried with soy sauce and miso paste. Sweet bean paste is also added. The mixture is wrapped in dough and can be grilled or steamed for eating. Best when roasted on an iron pan at the irori open hearth in the farmhouse.
The dough is usually made with wheat flour, but sometimes buckwheat flour or even millet flour and sometimes rice flour is used.
It keeps the hunger off for a long time and is eaten as oyatsu in the afternoon or a snack in the evening. They can also be eaten cold.
Other fillings are apple, potatoes with maize corn, cheese with pumpkin or adzuki beans only.
Hijiki (braune Meeralgen), kinpira, mixed vegetables or pumpkin and eggplants only.
Dried radish (kiriboshi daikon), nozawana leafy vegetables, shimeji mushrooms and vegetables,
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
joomon o-yaki 縄文おやき  from Ogawa Village 小川村
They are good for your health, they contain a big bowl of healthy vegetables and are low in calories.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
In the areas with heavy snow in winter, there is no wheat harvest and rice flour is used. These dumplings are called anbo あんぼ.
mit Gemüse gefüllte Reisküchlein
(konchin is a type of o-yaki in Tosa).

o-yaki is an old word from the imperial court kitchen (女房詞(にょうぼうことば), meaning yakimochi.
In Yamanashi prefecture the snack of a farmhouse is made as a yakidango 焼き団子, grilled ball, but also called o-yaki.
They can be grilled by putting them into the ashes of the open hearth fire and are eaten hot with sugar and some soy sauce.

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


roomen ローメン noodle dish
(almost like ramen)
with tomatoes and other fried vegetables and Chinese soba noodles.
Often mutton or lamb meat is added.
from the Ina region 長野県伊那地方
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


sasadango 笹団子 (ささだんご) dumplings on sasa leaves

sasa sushi, sasa-zushi 笹寿司 Sushi served on sasa leaves
wrapped in sasa leaves. A kind of oshizushi.
Sasa japonica. bamboo grass
During the battles at Kawanakajima, there were no vessels to serve the food in. So the soldiers took these leaves, which are abundant, and placed their food on them.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Kawanakajima no tatakai 川中島の戦い
were fought in the Sengoku Period of Japan between Takeda Shingen of Kai Province and Uesugi Kenshin of Echigo Province in the plain of Kawanakajima, in the north of Shinano Province. The location is in the southern part of the present-day city of Nagano.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


sekihan 赤飯 "red rice"
cooked with sweet beans amanatto and the sweet juice of the beans
roter Reis mit suessen Feuerbohnen
CLICK here for PHOTOS !

sekihan manjuu, sekihan manju 赤飯饅頭 manju with red rice inside
from Iida town, 飯田市
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


Shinshuu miso 信州味噌 miso paste
Shinshuu-miso, Miso aus der Gegend Shinshuu, Nagano
Eine weiße Miso mit bis zu 18 Prozent Salzgehalt. Sie braucht nur drei bis vier Monate zur Fermentierung. Sie hat einen leicht säuerlichen, sehr aromatischen Geschmack.

Shinshuu saamon 信州サーモン "salmon from Shinshu"
This is a cross-breed of rainbow trout and brown trout. It is a sweetwater lake trout fish.
Its taste is superb and very good for sushi and sashimi.
Its meat is finer than rainbow trout, but invitingly red.
The fish does not lay eggs and thus keeps all its energy for good taste. It is hoped to revive the local food industry with this fish.
From 長野県水産試験場
Nagano Prefectural fisheries experimental station.
. . . CLICK here for fish Photos !

Shinshuu soba 信州蕎麦, soba buckwheat noodles
from Shinshu, Nagano
Buckwheat grows well in the cold mountains of Nagano. Best in Togakushi and Norikura 戸隠、乗鞍.

. Norikura no kanata haruboshi kagirinashi .

Maeda Fura 前田普羅


shio 塩 SALT

shioika, shio-ika 塩イカ salted squid
The squid is salted for 16 hours, then drained for 3 hours in clear water. It is prepared with vinegar into a su no mono dish. 酢の物
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
This way of eating is only found in Nagano prefecture.

Squid was transported along the old "salt road" 塩の道 shio no michi along Itoikawa to Nagano.
squid is also simmered, niika, ni-ika 煮イカ
cut in rings and eaten with soysauce as a kind of sashimi in Nagano.
CLICK for more photos
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

. shio no michi 塩の道 the salt roads of Japan .
- Shio no michi Chojiya 塩の道ちょうじや Salt Road Museum, Nagano

ichirizuka sugi himori no shio no michi

past the milestone mound
the sun is high up in the sky
of the salt road

佐々木小夜 Sasaki Sayo

. ichirizuka 一里塚 milestone mound .

- Shio ... Salt  塩 and WASHOKU

Salzstrasse, Salzstraße


soba with yamabokuchi やまぼくち (山火口)
Menrui ... all kinds of noodles 麺類

taguri, o-taguri おたぐり speciality of horse innards.

takenoko jiru 竹の子汁 miso soup with bamboo shoots
and tinned fish, saba can タケノコ汁」にサバ缶
The special thin bamboo is only harvested about two months in early summer. And one or two tins of saba fish are added.
CLICK here for PHOTOS !

wakasagi 諏訪湖ワカサギ pond smelt
from Lake Suwako. They are best in early spring, when they come to lay eggs.
They are also fished in winter through holes in the ice.
Hypomesus transpacificus nipponensis
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

yamashio, yamajio 山塩 "salt from the mountains"

from Oshika mura in Nagano 大鹿村

Worldwide use

Diese traditionellen Reisküchlein sind in vielen Berggegenden in Nagano ein beliebter Snack am Nachmittag. Währnd der Edo-Zeit, als Reis in diesen Bergregionen noch etwas besonderes war, wurden sie nur zu Festlichkeiten zubereitet.
Kleine runde Klöße aus gekochtem und kleingestampftem Reis werden auf einen Spieß gesteckt oder für einen länglichen Kloß wird der gestampfte Reis einfach um einen Spieß aus Bambus oder Zedernholz gedrückt. Die längliche Form erinnert an einen Schlitten oder ein altes Goldstück (koban). Diese Reisklöße werden am Herdfeuer kurz angebraten.

Für die Sauce wird nach Familientradition eine Sojasauce mit Miso-Paste, Walnüssen und Sesam angerührt und über die Klöße gestrichen. In der Gegend von Kiso wird die Sojasauce mit kleingehackten grünen Perillablättern und Zucker zubereitet. Neuerdings wird sogar Erdnussbutter untergemischt, manchmal auch noch Eier, Honig oder Bienenlarven.
Der Name leitet sich ab von einem Ritualgegenstand des Shintooismus, einem Szepter mit geweihten weißen gefalteten Papierstreifen (gohei 御幣), denn die Form ähnelt diesem Gohei-Stab.
Die Stadt Tomi in Nagano ist eine der bekanntesten für den Anbau von Walnüssen in Japan.

Things found on the way


曲げておる婆の背中や スンキ付け
magete oru baba no senaka ya sunkizuke

the bend back
of the old farmers wife -
pickled sunki

Gabi Greve, December 2008

Related words

Menrui ... all kinds of noodles 麺類

***** WASHOKU : Regional Japanese Dishes


- #nagano #shionomichi #saltroad -


Yakuzen Food as Medicine


Food as Medicine (yakuzen)

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


yakuzen, yaku-zen 薬膳 ( やくぜん) "Eating Medicine"
vegetarian health cooking , medicinal food dishes, cooking with traditional Chinese herbal remedies

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

source :

Dishes prepared according to the teachings of Chinese traditional medicine (kanpoo).
Including the ingredients given below and more. Many small dishes of all varieties are served, according to the season and to the condition of the patient, if a doctor prescribes it.
The food should consider the hot/cold condition and have plenty of fibers, vitamins and minerals.

shooyaku 生薬 herbal medicine
Naturheilmittel, Kräutermedizin
In Chinese it is chuuyaku 中薬(ちゅうやく).

Yakuzen is based on the traditional Chinese medical science. It is tailor-made food which has its focus on the environment in which people live, climate, physical environment, the seasons of the region). The physical constitutions of an individual is also considered to create a meal adapted to these factors and the special medical properties of the ingredients.
Yakuzen developed in the Asian food culture, in Japan, China, and South Korea and is a kind of traditional health food, which is reconsidered and re-evaluated in its use lately.


benibana 紅花(こうか, kooka) べにばな afflower
The dried flowers (kooka) improve blood circulation.
Used in yoomeishuu 養命酒 herb sake.
Sometimes used in moxibustion herbs.
Färbersaflor, Färberdistel,Carthamus tinctorius.

fukahire ふかひれ shark fin and chicken contain a lot of collagen.
アンチエイジング to keep you young, eat tako octopus and vegetables of the season.

hasu no mi 蓮の実 lotus fruit
good in case of constipacy
Lotosfrucht. Nelumbo nucifera.

hachi kafun 蜂花粉 bee pollen

. kanzoo 甘草(かんぞう) licorice root .
マメ科のカンゾウの根. Fam. Glycyrrhiza
Süßholz; Lakritze

kinshinsai 金針菜(きんしんさい)kind of day lily bud
kigo for summer.
ユリ科のホンカンゾウの花のつぼみ kansoo no hana no tsubomi
yabu hookan ヤブカンゾウ(藪萱草) Hemerocallis fulva var. kwanso
Young leaves are also eaten with vinegar or miso. Mostly eaten in soup.
The bulb is also used as medicine.

kodaimai 古代米 (こだいまい) ancient black rice
choojuumai ちょうじゅまい (長寿米)rice to live long
Improves blood quality. Contains potassium, calcium and various kinds of vitamins.
comes in three colors
Red rice …  non-glutinous rice containing tannin
Black rice … glutinous rice containing anthocyanin
Green rice … glutinous rice containing chlorophyll


koorai ninjin (こうらいにんじん) 高麗人参 ginseng
Korean ginseng. Panax ginseng
... choosen ninjin 朝鮮人参(ちようせんにんじん)

During the Edo period, they were imported from China (via Nagasaki) and thus very expensive. Thus only rich patients could afford them, but not the poor townspeople

. Tanuma Okitsugu 田沼意次 .
around 1760 encouraged their planting in Japan. He offered positions as "ministers" (bakushin 幕臣) to the scholars of kanpo medicine plants.

Japanese ginseng 東洋参 (Panax japonicus)


kuko no mi クコの実
keeps the body cool and strong
Frucht vom chinesischen Bocksdorn. Lycium chinense

mamushi まむし (蝮 ) poisonous snake,
mamushi pit viper
nihon mamushi 日本蝮 (ニホンマムシ) Gloydius blomhoffii
CLICK for more photos
It grows about 40 to 60 cm. The body is brown with lighter stripes and spots. The head is triangular. It usually gets out of the way if people make enough noise when walking outside in mamushi coutry. So just stomp your feet!
Its liver and blood is used as a tonic drinc to revitalize.
The gall bladder jatan 蛇胆(じゃたん(通称じゃったん))
The skin is removed and the rest dried to get to the Chinese medicine called KANPI 反鼻(はんぴ), also a revitalizing medicine.
In Japan, the dried or raw meat is put into strong liquor to make a mamushi schnaps, mamushizake マムシ酒(まむしざけ). This is also helpful to put on infected wounds.
Giftschlange . Agkistrodon blomhoffi.

In Kansai, the word mamushi means manmeshi まんめし, rice with eel.

CLICK for more photos

matsu no mi 松の実 pine seeds, pine nuts, pine kernels
strenghten the body, make the body warm. Improve skin conditions. Balance the inner organs. Improve brain function. Good for the elderly and reconvalsecent.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
Pinienkerne. 海松子(かいしょうし))「松子仁」(しょうしにん、しょうしじん shooshinin, shoohsijin )、「松子」(しょうし shooshi "Child of the pine")
in Europe, pine nuts come from the Stone Pine (Pinus pinea), which has been cultivated for its nuts for over 6,000 years, and harvested from wild trees for far longer. The Swiss Pine (Pinus cembra) is also used to a very small extent.
In Asia, two species are widely harvested, Korean Pine (Pinus koraiensis) in northeast Asia (the most important species in international trade), and Chilgoza Pine (Pinus gerardiana) in the western Himalaya. Four other species, Siberian Pine (Pinus sibirica), Siberian Dwarf Pine (Pinus pumila), Chinese White Pine (Pinus armandii) and Lacebark Pine (Pinus bungeana), are also used to a lesser extent.

Throughout Europe and Middle East the pine nuts used are from Pinus pinea (Stone Pine). They are easily distinguished from the Asian pine nuts by their more slender shape and more homogeneous flesh. Due to the lower price, Asian pine nuts are also often used, especially in cheaper preparations.Pine nuts contain thiamine, vitamin B1 and and protein. Many dieters eat pine nuts because of their proven ability to suppress hunger.
The pine nuts involved typically contain triglycerides formed by 16-18° unsaturated fatty acids. No contamination with pesticide residues or heavy metals was found.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

monkoo ika, kaminari ika 紋甲いか/ カミナリイカ /紋甲烏賊(もんごういか)
cuttlefish, squid, Sepia
it has spots on the back KO like a pattern MON.
kooika 甲いか, yoroppa kooika ヨーロッパコーイカ
often used for sushi, sliced cuttlefish
It helps the blood circulation, best eaten with kuko no mi


mozuku もずく(水雲/海蘊)
An alga-like seaweed served in a vinegary sauce.
Nemacystis decipiens. Seegras-Art
kigo for spring

futo mozuku フトモズク Tinocladia crassa
ishi mozuku イシモズク Sphaerotrichia divaricata
Okinawa mozuku オキナワモズク Cladosiphon okamuranus
iwa mozuku 岩モズク "rock-mosuku"
shio mozuku 塩もずく salted mozuku
kinu mozuku 絹もずく "silken mozuku"

Mozuku has long been used in Okinawa for health food in the traditional Chinese way.
It is already mentioned in literature from the Heian period, written as 毛都久.
It is said when you wash your hands with mozuku it keeps women's hands soft and moist. The reason is maybe the slimy composition of mozuku. It is based on the physiological effects of the polysaccharide known as fucoidan.
More than 90% of mozuku comes from Okinawa. The young buds in spring are collected and preserved in salt. Lately less salt and more vinegar is used. It can also be eaten with a quail egg and some grated ginger on it or in zoosui rice porridge.
mozukujiru 海雲汁(もずくじる)soup with mozuku
mozuku tori 海雲採(もずくとり)harvesting mozuku
mozuku uri 海雲売(もずくうり)vendor of mozuku
mozuku oke 海雲桶(もずくおけ) barrel for mozuku

mozuku soomen もずくそうめん somen-noodles with mozuku
mozukusu もずく酢 vinegared mosuku
Itoman mozuku 糸満もずく from Itoman/Okinawa

Sold in little cups with differently flavored vinegar like sanbaizu or yuzu citron and vinegar.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

The third sunday in April is the "day of mozuku" (mozuku no hi もずくの日).
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


natsume なつめ 棗 date, dates
natsume no mi 棗の実 (なつめのみ)
aonatsume, ao natsume 青棗(あおなつめ) green dates
kigo for early autumn
Ziziphus jujuba
Sanebutu natsume サネブトナツメ are used for yakuzen.
The dried fruit are called daisoo 大棗(たいそう), the kernels sansoonin 酸棗仁(さんそうにん)
Revitalizes the body, helps improve sleep.
Dattel, Datteln

natsume no hana 棗の花 (なつめのはな) date blossoms
kigo for early summer

. Dukh-Bhanjani Beri tree .
Sacred jujube tree in the Golden Temple, Amritsar, India


ryuugan リュウガン(竜眼、龍眼) "dragon eye"
fruit are dried ryuugan niku 竜眼肉(りゅうがんにく). Balance heart and body, help blood circulation strenghten the body. Improve sleep. Given to reconvalescents or after childbirth. Good for weak stomach functions.
Family Mukuroji, Sapindaceae

sanshoo 山椒 さんしょう "mountain pepper"
heats the body
Japanischer Pfeffer

sanzan no mi サンザシの実
Crataegus cuneata, of the rose family
The fruit are dried. Good for digestion. Sometimes used in liquor extract サンザシ酒.
Used in mochi 山査子餅 and other sweets.

shiro kigurage 銀耳(ぎんじ)/ 白木耳(しろきくらげ)
white tree jellyfish
kikurage : Judasohr,Holunderschwamm. Auricularia auricula.


toogan とうがん(冬瓜) white gourd-melon; a wax gourd
winter melon
..... kamouri, kamo uri かもうり
tooganjiru 冬瓜汁(とうがじる) wax-gourd soup
Wintermelone. Benincasa hispida
made in a chicken soup. Eaten in summer to take the heat out of the body, good for natsubate summer fatigue.

kintooga 紅冬瓜 (きんとうが) "red wax gourd"
kintooga 紅南瓜(きんとうが)、kintooga 金冬瓜(きんとうが)
akoda uri 阿古陀瓜(あこだうり)

kigo for eraly autumn

toogan ya tagai ni kawaru kao no nari

Matsuo Basho

. Faces and Haiku .


yurine, byakkoo 百合(びゃくごう)lily bulbs
see below.


Fresh food of the season is the best medicine.

The liver needs to be active, but is maybe still weak. You want to boost the physical power.
Shellfish, salmon, celery, apples, potatoes. Yaakon ヤーコンvegetable,

Heat will affect the heart.
Cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon, banana, pinapple, oranges to cool the body. Eggplants, seaweed.

Autum :
Dry air might affect the lungs.
Radish to warm your lungs.

Cold affects the blood circulation.
Oysters, carottes, radishs and other rood vegetables. Ginger, leek, mochigome rice, beef or chicken or deer. Korean ginseng 高麗人参
Keep the body warm, strengthen the kidneys.

yurine 百合根 Lilium auratum



Cooked rice with wolfberry leaves (kuko meshi) Japan

Tonburi berries from Akita

Deafness-curing sake (jirooshu)


ishoku doogen 医食同源 ( いしょくどうげん)
yakushoku-dogen 薬食同源 (yakushoku-dougen)
"medicines and foods share the same origin"
Medicine and Food are both used to support the human body and keep it healthy. So you should eat proper food every day to stay healthy.
Medizin und Essen komme aus der gleichen Quelle.
Building physical and mental health through everyday meals is important.

The dishes are ment to increase the well-being of healthy people, based on the Chinese learning about the human body.


Using Chinese and Japanese medicien with food
Many Chinese restaurants in Japan offer some kind of Yakuzen Lunch 薬膳ランチ or Yakuzen course 薬膳コースランチ .

Nara Yakuzen Ryori
with fresh vegetables from the area, some have been introduced by the monks who studied in China.

Shimane prefecture 島根県 グルメ
There are many restaurants which offer this food of the season with local produce.
和風薬膳料理 Japanese style Yakuzen
洋風薬膳料理 Western style Yakuzen
中華薬膳料理 Chinese style Yakuzen

wafuu soosaku yakuzen ryoori 和風創作薬膳料理
和風薬膳料理 wafuu yakuzen ryoori
Chinese medicine food, in Japanese style
CLICK for more photos
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

yakuzen karee 薬膳カレー Yakuzen curry
bean curry cooked “yakuzen-style”
CLICK for more photos
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

yakuzen kaiseki 薬膳懐石 やくぜんかいせき
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

yakuzen nabe 薬膳鍋 “Kanpo Pot”, herb pot
sometimes more than 30 herbs are used
It can come in a special pot with two sides of different tasts. It keeps the body warm in winter.
CLICK for more
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

yakuzen raamen 薬膳ラーメン
ramen noodle soup with medical ingredients
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
ingredients vary in the season. kokkei chicken 烏骨鶏, suppon turtle, Korean ginseng 高麗人参 and many herbs.
A bit of vinegar to help digestion.

Worldwide use

In the times before the advent of modern western medicine, Asia relied heavily on the use of traditional remedies, medical plants and minerals and then prayers to the various deities !

medicine from China, kanpoo, kanpooyaku 漢方薬
as used in Japan
In this LINK are some kigo related to the word "medicine 薬".

Juuyaku 十薬, dokudami (Houttuynia cordata),
a strong medical plant, literally "worth ten medicines".
kigo for summer

Koojusan 香需散

Perilla, beefsteak plant, shiso 紫蘇
kigo for summer

"eating medicine" kusuri gui 薬喰
kigo for all winter

medicine (cream) for split skin on hands and feet
hibi gusuri 胼薬(ひびぐすり)
kigo for late winter

"medicine day" kusuri no hi 薬の日
kigo for mid-summer

"water of God", shinzui, shinsui
神水 (しんずい, しんすい)
"it is raining medicine", kusuri furu 薬降る (くすり ふる)
kigo for mid-summer

"digging for medicine", kusuri horu 薬掘る
kigo for late autumn
collecting medicine, kusuri toru 薬採る(くすりとる)

Daranisuke 陀羅尼助 topicIt
is made by boiling the bark of the Chinese cork tree (kihada キハダ, Phellodendron amurense) for a while.

Chinese Medicine (kanpo), medicine (kusuri) 漢方薬

Heartleaf, lizardtail, dokudami ドクダミ, juuyaku 鱼腥草

Things found on the way

eating disorders 摂食障害

kyoshokushoo 拒食症
anorexia アノレキシア Magersucht

kashokushoo 過食症 Overeating and vomiting
ブリミア bulimia. Bulimie, Ess-Brech-Sucht


observance kigo for the New Year

mikusuri o kuuzu 御薬を供ず offering honorable medicine
..... toso 屠蘇(とそ)ritual ricewine
byakusan 白散(びゃくさん)
doshoosan, toshoosan 度嶂散(どしょうさん)
kusurigo 薬子(くすりご)"child drinking medicine"

The original name was toso enmei san 屠蘇延命散 medicine to prolong life.
It was introduced from China in the Heian period for the Emperor Saga Tenno 嵯峨天皇 and been offered at court on the third day of the New Year. Later during the Edo period it became a habit of the townspeople.

The tradition of drinking toso at the New Year began in the Tang Dynasty in China, and was adopted by Japanese aristocrats during the Heian period. The first cup drunk would be made with tososan, and the second and third cups with different varieties called byakusan and toshōsan.
. First Court Rituals .


yasooji haru yakuzengayu de sashimukai

my 80es birthday
this spring again I welcome it
with medicine ricesoup

小田利吉 Oda Tookichi


yakuzen ni yoote wakaba no saka no michi

drunk from eating medicine -
the walk uphill amongst
young green leaves

後藤智津子 Gotoo Mitsuko

Related words

kenkoo shokuhin 健康食品 health food diet, macrobiotics

futsukayoi ふつかよい(二日酔い/ 宿酔 )
hangover and its natural remedies

***** WASHOKU : General Information