- Main lore areas
Minami-Alps City, Kai City, Yamanashi City, Kofu City
- Main ingredients used
Glutinous rice, Uruchi rice, Amanatto (sweet soybeans)
- History/origin/related events
Ama-natto no Osekihan (red rice with sweetened soybeans)" is, as the name suggests, red rice cooked with ama-natto (sweetened soybeans). It tastes sweet, and is popular among the locals for its delicious sweetness when sprinkled with sesame salt. Since it is made without using sasage or azuki beans, the glutinous rice does not turn red, but is instead colored with food coloring. Japanese confectionery stores and supermarkets sell both sweet sekihan made with amanatto and non-sweet sekihan made with sasage or azuki beans, which are well-known throughout Japan. Since ancient times, the color red has been believed to ward off evil spirits. For this reason, "sweet red rice with red beans" is just as essential for festive occasions as non-sweet red rice. Although sweet sekihan seems very unusual, it is also eaten in parts of Hokkaido and Tohoku, far from Yamanashi Prefecture. There are many theories about its roots, including one that the Nanbu clan, who moved from Kai no Kuni (Yamanashi Prefecture) to Aomori Prefecture during the Kamakura period (1185-1333), introduced it to the region, and another that amanatto was added to school lunches in Yamanashi Prefecture 50 years ago after hearing about it from people in Aomori.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
Ama-natto does not need to be soaked in water or glutinous rice in boiling water, making it easy to prepare, so it is made all year round. It is especially popular on festive occasions.
- How to eat
Mix glutinous and non-glutinous rice, wash, drain, and place in rice cooker. Dissolve the red food coloring in a small amount of water. After the rice is cooked, add the dissolved red coloring to the rice and cook in the rice cooker. When the rice is finished cooking, top with the amanatto (sweet soybean paste), cover the rice cooker again, and let it steam for a little while. Mix quickly, place in a bowl, and sprinkle with sesame salt. Hanamame Sekihan" (red rice with red beans) is also eaten in mountainous regions where Hanamame is a specialty.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
It can be purchased at Japanese confectionery stores, supermarkets, and convenience stores. It is also selected as one of the "Specially Selected Yamanashi no Shoku (Foods of Yamanashi)," a selection of 47 representative items out of 176 local foods that Yamanashi Prefecture is working to hand down to the next generation.