- Main lore areas
All over the prefecture, mainly in the Kohoku area
- Main ingredients used
Azuki beans, taro, soy sauce, etc.
- History/origin/related events
Itoko-ni-ni" is a dish of simmered azuki beans with taro or pumpkin. It is also a local dish that has spread throughout the prefecture, especially in the Kohoku region.
It is often prepared on the occasion of Hoon-ko or Buddhist memorial services in memory of Shinran Shonin. "Itoko-ni-ni" with pumpkin is often eaten in the Koto region, and "Itoko-ni-ni" with taro is often eaten in the Kohoku region.
There are many origins of the name "Itoko-ni-ni," including the theory that it came to be called "Itoko-ni-ni" because the ingredients take time to simmer, so they are simmered "oi oi" (in turn), or that it is eaten when brothers, sisters and cousins get together, or that the name "Itoko-ni" is a corruption of "Itoko-ni-ni. There are various theories.
It is also said that "Itoko-ni-ni" is a dish of kabocha (pumpkin) and yuzu (citrus fruit), and is often eaten on the winter solstice. The reason for eating pumpkin on the winter solstice, when the daytime is the shortest of the year, is to prevent colds and illnesses. Pumpkin is a highly nutritious vegetable that contains a large amount of β-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the body when consumed. Azuki beans are high in protein and rich in dietary fiber, and people in the past ate pumpkin and azuki beans to recover from illnesses and to prevent them.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
It is an indispensable dish for Houenkou (Buddhist memorial services) and Buddhist rituals. It is often eaten on the winter solstice as well, because of the legend that eating azuki beans and pumpkin on the winter solstice prevents illness.
- How to eat
Boil azuki once to remove the scum, then boil until soft. Boil taro cut into bite-size pieces and add to azuki boiled with sugar and soy sauce.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
It is still made at home and served in school lunches, and is a popular dish among the younger generation.