- Main lore areas
The whole prefecture
- Main ingredients used
Adzuki beans, Tofu, Root vegetables, etc.
- History/origin/related events
"Hoonko" is one of the traditional autumn events in Ishikawa Prefecture. It is a traditional event held on November 28th, which is the death anniversary of Shinran, founder of the Jodo Shinshu sect. The meal eaten after sermons in temples and affiliated households is called "Otoki (Toki)," and it is served to the guests who are gathered for the "Hoonko."
"Itoko-jiru" is an essential part of the Hoonko meal. It is a soup made by slowly simmering various vegetables, with adzuki beans and tofu as the main elements, then flavoring it like miso soup. Adzuki beans were a favorite food of Shinran Shonin. It is said that those who participate in the ceremony are repaying their kindness to Shinran Shonin while eating "Itoko-jiru."
There are many theories about the origin of the unique name "Itoko-jiru." One theory is that Itoko-jiru came from the "Otoko-jiru" eaten on "Otoko Hajime," the beginning of New Year preparations on December 8th of Japan's lunisolar calendar, or that the ingredients such as adzuki beans and tofu are related as "itoko" (cousins). Depending on the region, root vegetables such as daikon radish, burdock, and potatoes might also be considered as "itoko," and the interpretations vary by person and by region.
Hoonko cuisine also includes a similar "Itoko-ni." This is made by slowly simmering adzuki beans with root vegetables. There is also a "Nanukadaki Gobo" made by simmering burdock for seven days.
Yamaguchi and Yamagata Prefectures also have an "Itoko-ni," but they have little in common in terms of the cooking method, ingredients, and style.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
It is one of the essential dishes for the Hoonko Otoki. Jodo Shinshu is so influential in Kanazawa that it is called the "Shinshu Kingdom," and the Hoonko remains a deeply rooted tradition to this day.
In addition to "Itoko-jiru," "Itoko-ni" made by simmered adzuki beans and root vegetables and "Nanukadaki Gobo" made by simmering burdock for seven days are also eaten for Hoonko.
- How to eat
Boil adzuki beans until soft, then add to dashi broth and heat. Once boiling, add tofu and season with miso before eating. It is a vegetarian dish, so the dashi broth is made with ingredients such as kelp and shiitake mushrooms.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
It is a festival food, so it is not often served as a typical household meal. The Hoonko custom itself is still practiced today, and "Itoko-jiru" is eaten on such occasions.
source : "Kanazawa, Kaga, Noto: Local Cuisine of the Four Seasons" by Etsuko Aoki