FOOD CULTURE ANECDOTES Part 1 (5)-12018/03/06（Tue）
♪ ”Shojin Ryori ( Buddhist Vegetarian Food”
☆The Grant Head Temple of Soto sect of Zen Buddhism which is named “Eihei-ji Temple” is located in Eiheiji Town, Fukui Prefecture. This temple is a Zen practice school held in 1244 by Dogen who was a Zen master. In this school, 150 of itinerant priests are presently done practice Buddhistic austerities. The cuisine at this temple is known as “Buddhist Vegetarian Food (Shojin Ryori in Japanese)” in which meats are not used under the influence of Zen Buddhism.
☆ As the ingredients of “Shojin Ryori”, many items that are miso, soy sauce, tofu (bean card), soymilk, natto, yuba, fried tofu etc. Basically, we can eat beans as a protain material. These ingredients are also processed for preservation. “Shojin Ryori” contributed to research, development, processing technology and cooking technology of general cuisines. Today, in the vicinity of big Zen temples, we can find many Japanese restaurants in which tofu and yuba can be served.
From the fact that there is the person responsible for cooking “Shojin Ryori” in Eiheiji Temple, the importance of the Ryori in this temple must be understood.
“Kaiseki Ryori” is said to be originated from “Shojin Ryori”. There are five vegetables that can not be used for “Shojin Ryori”. They are garlic, green onion, onion, leek and shallot.
♪ ”Saba Kaido (Mackerel Road)”
☆ Kyoto (Kyoto City now) seemed to be hard to get sea foods in the past, because the city does not face sea. But Kyoto has definitely leaded Japanese food culture together with Edo. Because food culture in Kyoto needed fishery products as food ingredients, fish were mainly obtained sea fish from Osaka, Ise and Obama in Fukui Prefecture, and lake fish from Otsu in Shiga Prefecture One of routs to get such fish was “Wakasa (one of names of regions in Fukui Prefecture) Road” which was from Obama (Obama City now) to Rakuhoku (a northern part of Kyoto City). Especially mackerel (Saba in Japanese) which is landing at Obama was very popular in Kyoto City because of its delicious taste. So because the Saba was carried from Obama to Kyoto via “Wakasa Road”, people called the road “Saba Road (Saba Kaido in Japanese” in another name.
Saba was valuable fish since it was easy to hurt, it was soaked in salt water and carried in a hurry. Kumagawa Town where situated in the middle of “Saba Kaido” was flourished as a base for such Sabal merchants.
☆ There is a proverb of Japan as related with Saba. It is said as “Read Saba”, that is, “Saba wo Yomu” in Japanese. This proverb indicates to say “greater number than real number”. When a large number of Saba was landed on a fishing port, fisherman counts the number of the fish. But fisherman can not take long time for counting, because “Saba” is very fragile. So fishermen count roughly and they report more numbers than real numbers to favor their achievement. Accordingly, when we wish to report more numbers than real numbers, we use this proverb. For example in the case that salesman reports his sales amount. However, in the case of lady’s age, she says her age small. In both cases, we say “Saba wo Yomu”.
☆ If you have a chance to come to Fukui Prefecture, please visit Eiheiji Temple to eat “Shojin Ryori”, try to pass through “Saba Kaido” and to get paint things of “Wakasa Nuri (Paint)” in which chopstick is most known.
♪ “Jibu-ni”, one of local cuisines of Ishikawa Prefecture.
☆”Jibu-ni” is a boiled cooking. Its cooking method is as follows: After duck meat was cut into pieces and coated with flour lightly, the coated meat was boiled with the broth containing soy sauce, miso, sugar, mirin, sake etc. Furthermore, the mixture was boiled with Japanese dry wheat gluten (“fu” in Japanese), shiitake mashroom, edible lily bulb (“yurine” in Japanese) etc. In this, the role of thicky soup due to flour is important to hold the taste and flavor of boiled duck meat. And Japanese horseradish (“wasabi” in Japanese) is often used for spice.
☆ The origin of this cuisine may be that Jibuemon Okabe who worked under Hideyoshi Toyotomi (he was said to be the biggest Shogun together with Nobunaga Oda and Ieyasu Tokugawa) as the commissioner of food sector. Jibuemon brought this cuisine back from Korea, or he cooked it himself. So, “Jibu” of “Jibuemon” was used for the name of “Jibu ni”.
☆ Winter season of Ishikawa Prefecture is very severe accompanied by lot of snow. But “Jibu ni” will warm your body even such severe season.
♪ Japanese Traditional Confectionery (“Wagashi” in Japanese) in Kanazawa
☆Kanazawa City is the prefectoral capital of Ishikawa Prefecture where had been governed by Maeda family as lords of “Kaga Clan” from actually 1585 to 1871. Ieyasu Tokugawa who was said to be the most excellent “Shogun” and established Edo Priod was afraid Kaga Clan ruled by the Maeda family, since the clan was too rich. Because Toshinaga Maeda perceived such Ieyasu’s concern, he and his decendants focused on building peaceful environment by education and culture rather than military force. That is, Maeda family wish to show that Maeda family has no treason against Ieyasu. So that Maeda family introduced tea ceremony (“Sado” or “Chado”) into Kanazawa from Kyoto and Osaka as a non-resistance attitude to Ieyasu, encouraged and raised it as a culture. “Wagasi” is sure to be served in the “Sado”. Therefore, “Wagashi” has been developed in Kanazawa as lords of Maeda family became enthusiastic about “Sado”, the technique of landscape architecture also developed, because the tea room (“Chashitsu” in Japanese) sometimes is constructed in Japanese style garden.
☆ Particularly in Kanazawa, the snow falls well, so it was a design with a different taste from Kyoto, the design that incorporates snow into the scenery and the landscaping technology have been outstanding.
☆ Generally mature of “Sado” has greatly stimulated “culture of Wagashi”. It was same thing in development of “Wagashi” in Kanazawa. When Toshiie Maeda entered into Kanazawa as the first lord of Kaga Clan in 1590, Saburoemon Dogoya also came to Kanazawa together with Toshiie. Soon he opened a “Wagashi” shop. It was said to be the beginning of “Wagashi” shop in Kaga Clan.
☆ Japanese moist cofectinery (“Namagashi” in Japanese) is a rather high grade “Wagashi”. Artisans of “Wagashi” and of teaware (Chaki in Japanese”) maker fully responded to the exalted culture of “Sado” by their inventions and devices. And still, the culture of “Sado”, “Chaki” and “Namagashi (Wagashi)” has been inherited.
♪ Halfbeak (Needlefish) (“Sayori” in Japanese) in Ishikawa Prefecture
☆ "Sayori" is a fish of the Sayori family. It is called "fine fish" or "needle fish" from its figure. It is the "Prefecture fish" in Ishikawa Prefecture (the symbolic fish in Ishikawa Prefecture) now. It can be harvested from the end of November to around May (the most delicious period is from April to May) in sea of Ishikawa. It is a freshly damaged fish, but if it is fresh you can eat sashimi. Tempra of this fish is said to be high grade. In French cuisine used “Sayori”, because the body is slim, it is used for tieing or wrapping other ingredients.
☆ ”Sayori” is said to be a luxury fish. Moreover, because the figure is elegant, it can be said that it is the symbol of Ishikawa Prefecture possessing calm and elegant deep culture. Therefore, it is a "Prefecturakl fish". ”Sayori” can be said to be a diet oriented because it is with low calorie.
☆ “Sayori” is white and long beautiful style with good appearance, but its internal organs were covered by blacky colored film. It is black, it is fresh. However, when we meet a slim and beautiful lady, never say “You are slim and beautiful lady like “Sayori”, since in Japan we imply that the belly black people are bad people who are deceive and bully persons.
☆ As described above, the food culture of Ishikawa Prefecture has been developed by the fusion of the food culture based on the local ingredients and the food culture developed from “Sado”. In addition to ecologically and politically stable background of rich “Kaga Clan”, supported Ishikawa Prefecture’s culture..
♪ Next will be mentioned for the food culture of Toyama and Niigata Prefectures as FOOD CULTURE ANECDOTES Part 1 (5)-2.
Refer to FOOD CULTURE ANECDOTES Part 1 (5)-2 (Toyama and Niigata Prefectures )
Refer to FOOD CULTURE ANECDOTES Part 1 (4)-2 (Kangawa Prefecture and Tokyo Metropolis)