- Main lore areas
Around Tokyo Bay and throughout Tokyo
- Main ingredients used
Rice, tuna, small sea bream, yellowfin bream, yellowtail, garfish, sea eel, horse mackerel, mackerel, prawns, shellfish, small columns, squid, roe, etc.
- History/origin/related events
Nigiri-zushi is a typical Japanese dish consisting of vinegared rice topped with ingredients.
In the Heian period, salted fish was dipped in cooked rice as a preserved food, and the rice was fermented and pickled with a sour taste, which was called nare-zushi. During the Edo period, nare-zushi was transformed into various forms, including haya-zushi (fast sushi), oshi-zushi (pressed sushi), and nigiri-zushi (nigiri sushi). Today, hand-rolled sushi is also popular, and nigirizushi has spread throughout the world. Nigirizushi became popular in the Edo period as a stall food to fill the stomachs of the common people, and it is a dish that evolved through the development of innovations to make it both upscale and easy to eat. Nare-zushi from the Heian period was also devised in various regions, and is still eaten today, including sushi used as a fine meal. Shiga is famous for its nare-zushi.
In Edo (present-day Tokyo), the "Edo Sanzushi" (three types of sushi) include Kiemon Matsuzaki's "kekkari sushi," Yohei Hanaya's "Yohei sushi," and Sakaiya Matsugoro's "matsuga-zushi," which are said to have contributed greatly to the spread of nigiri-zushi.
Edomae-zushi is made with rice that has been red-vinegar-brushed and prepared by boiling, steaming, boiling, zuke (zuke), kombu-jime (kombu-jime), or washing with vinegar, such as kohada (yellowfin bream) or mackerel, cooked sea eel or steamed shrimp, or fried egg.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
In the late Edo period, common people in Edo could easily enjoy nigirizushi at yatai stalls.
From among them, high-class sushi restaurants emerged that carefully selected ingredients and flavors. The style of serving sushi at the counter was established as a remnant of the Edo period, when sushi was first served at yatai stalls. The rice used for nigiri-zushi in the Edo period was about three times larger than that of today's nigiri-zushi, and the rice, rather than the ingredients, was used to fill one's stomach.
Today, however, the emphasis is more on the ingredients than on the rice. As sushi restaurants have become more diverse in their sales formats, such as the popular kaitenzushi (conveyor-belt sushi), department stores, supermarkets, and convenience stores, sushi tends to be consumed not only on special occasions, but also on a daily basis.
- How to eat
Prepared ingredients are placed on top of vinegared rice, lightly grated, and served with wasabi or dipping sauce.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
Yoshino Sushi Honten, established in 1879, still serves the same traditional nigiri using only red vinegar and salt. Also, "Sasamaki Kenuki Sushi" established in 1702 still serves nigiri-zushi, which is sushi wrapped in kumazasa leaves, and other traditional nigiri.