Wasabi only to be produced in Shizuoka
”Wasabi” is an important food ingredient for Japanese people since it is a vital part of many Japanese dishes such as sushi, sashimi, soba, etc. Its academic name is ”Wasabi japonica”, making it a genuine produce originating in Japan.
The word ”wasabi” is recorded in ancient literatures from the Nara period, describing its use for medicinal purposes. However, actual cultivation started unexpectedly late during the Edo period. At that time, Shizuoka was the sole producer of ”wasabi”.
For a long time, ”wasabi” production was limited to Shizuoka. The reason for this is that the Shogun, Ieyasu Tokugawa liked the ”wasabi” produced in Utogi so much that he banned any other region from producing it.
So, ”wasabi” was only permitted to be produced in Utogi. However, 100 years later, its production was expanded to Amagi Yugashima in Izu, Shizuoka as well. Since then, Shizuoka became one of the top producers of ”wasabi”. It was through this history that ”wasabi” became one of the specialized products of Shizuoka.
Cultivated by the water in Amagi Yugashima/h2>
We spoke with Masataka Asada, a ”wasabi” producer who has been protecting the ”wasabi” field which has been in existence for more than 80 years in Amagi Yugashima.
Shizuoka ”wasabi” was not allowed to be produced elsewhere. We wondered how if Asada had recommendation as to how we should eat ”wasabi”.
”I don’t know if it’s special……” Asada served us ”wasabi miso”.
Wasabi made with the clean water of Amagi Yugashima. Yet again, we encountered the beauty of Japanese tradition.
- Masataka Asada
- Izu, Shizuoka