- Main lore areas
The entire prefecture centering on the Owari area and Nishimikawa area
- Main ingredients used
Rice, shrimp, conger eel, salmon, eggs, dried shiitake mushrooms, etc.
- History/origin/related events
“Hakozushi” can be found all over Japan. It is a type of sushi made by filling a square wooden box with sushi rice, placing the ingredients on top, and then pressing them down from above. The history of "Hakozushi" is older than that of nigirizushi. It started with “Narezushi”, which is made by marinating fish, rice, and salt for a long period of time, and by the Muromachi period (1336-1573), “Hannare” appeared, which is made to mature in a relatively short period of time. Compared to “Narezushi”, “Hannare” retains the texture of both the fish and the rice, so the sour rice itself becomes more palatable. From this trend, the prototype of “Hakozushi” was born, which consisted of putting salted fish and rice in a sushi tub or wooden box, covering the lid, placing a weight on top, and letting it ferment for several days. Later, with the invention of kasuzu (sake-lees vinegar), "Hakozushi" with a variety of ingredients was created in many places. In the past, when there was not enough rice available, "Hakozushi" which required large amounts of rice, was a great luxury. “Hakozushi”, which is mainly eaten in the Owari and Nishimikawa areas, is also called “Kirizushi”, and is characterized by the diagonal arrangement of ingredients such as shrimp, conger, dried shiitake mushrooms and thin strips of egg. This was designed to ensure that everyone can enjoy a variety of flavors equally. The box is a special wooden one with five or six tiers stacked on top of each other. Stack the wooden box with the sushi rice and ingredients and wedge it together from the side to apply pressure. Many families used to have wooden boxes, but nowadays the number is decreasing.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
It was made for celebrations, festivals, and other occasions when many people gathered together. Nowadays, many households do not have wooden crates, and it is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process, so the opportunities to make it at home have decreased.
- How to eat
The ingredients and seasonings used on top of sushi rice vary from household to household, but seafood, wild vegetables, vegetables, kakufu (wheat gluten), and dubu (wheat gluten) are often used. The seasoned ingredients are drained thoroughly and placed diagonally on top of the sushi rice, starting from the center, and then covered with a lid and pressurized from above for about half a day. When finished, remove from the box, cut into bite-size pieces, and serve.
When "Hako-zushi" was being made, "makizushi" and "aburage-zushi" were often made and eaten together. After the rapid economic growth period, "hako zushi" gradually became less common in households.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
Efforts are being made to pass on the taste and method of making hako zushi by holding cooking classes for parents and children, and by having each municipality prepare and disseminate information on hako zushi.