- Main lore areas
Fuchu town and other areas in the western part of the prefecture
- Main ingredients used
azuki beans, radish, carrots, dried shiitake mushrooms, burdocks, lotus root, taro, deep-fried tofu, konjac
- History/origin/related events
The vegetarian dish "Nigome" is made with diced and boiled azuki beans, daikon radish, carrots, dried shiitake mushrooms, burdock root, lotus root, taro, deep-fried tofu, and konjac. No meat or fish is used in the ingredients or broth. The western part of the prefecture is called "Aki no Kuni" and has many Jodo Shinshu followers, who were named "Aki followers". Shinran Shonin, the founder of the Jodo Shinshu sect, passed away on January 16th, which is celebrated as "Goshoiki". When Shinran Shonin was critically ill, his disciples made him a vegetarian stew with azuki beans, his favorite food. This later became the vegetarian food of the Goaritoyo, named "Nigome". Fishermen in the area used to follow the custom of "Otanya no Ichigomari" during the Otaidaya period, where they closed their fishing boats and markets for three days to avoid killing. Nigome was made in large quantities before the Oarigoya and boiled repeatedly for three days before being consumed. Soy sauce is used for seasoning, giving it a simple flavor that allows the natural taste of the ingredients to shine.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
During the three-day period of "Otanya" around January 16th of the new calendar year, an event food is eaten to commemorate the anniversary of Shinran Shonin's death. This custom was followed by Aki followers, who would consume the food repeatedly until their body was warmed up and then visit the temple. This food was also served at temples that held memorial services for Shinran Shonin.
- How to eat
Soak azuki beans in water for a day before serving. Dice radish, carrot, dried shiitake mushrooms, konjac, burdock root, taro, deep-fried tofu, lotus root, or any other desired ingredients. Combine all the ingredients in a pot and simmer with the azuki in a large amount of soup stock. Soy sauce is the basic seasoning, but some households prefer to add mirin or miso. Keep the seasoning light, as the beans are simmered multiple times.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
Today, the custom of "otanya no ichigomari" has disappeared, and the custom of eating nikigome during "otanya" is also decreasing. Nigome is also served as a school lunch menu as an opportunity for students to learn about the local cuisine.