- Main lore areas
All over the prefecture
- Main ingredients used
Rice, seasonal fish and vegetables
- History/origin/related events
Matsuri-zushi, also called "Okayama-bara-zushi" or "Bizen-bara-zushi," is made for festivals, celebrations, and entertaining guests in the Bizen-Okayama area. It is a gorgeous chirashizushi filled with vegetables, seafood, and rich ingredients from the Seto Inland Sea. During the Edo period (1603-1867), Lord Mitsumasa Ikeda, the feudal lord of Okayama, issued a decree to economize, telling the common people to eat only one soup and one vegetable so that they would not be extravagant. The common people would fill a tub-shaped half-slice of sushi rice with about ten different kinds of seasoned vegetables and seafood and stir them in to the rice. In addition to Spanish mackerel and sea eel, other seafood such as mogai and shrimp, bamboo shoots and burdock root are sometimes added. There is also another way to eat matsuri-zushi called "nukui-zushi," which is steamed and heated. Nukui" means "warm" in the Okayama dialect.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
Nuku-zushi is a representative Okayama dish for festivals, bon festivals, and Buddhist memorial services in spring and fall, and is a must for entertaining guests. Ingredients vary depending on the season, such as Spanish mackerel, butterbur and bamboo shoots in spring, and matsutake mushrooms in autumn. The method of cooking sushi rice, the mixture of vinegar, and the method of boiling the ingredients vary from region to region and from household to household.
- How to eat
Vegetables are boiled and seasoned with soy sauce, sugar, and salt. Sprinkle salt lightly over Spanish mackerel, let sit for a while, then add to the vinegar mixture. Wash mogai with a shake and cook. Open the back of the sea eel, remove the bones, and teriyaki it with soy sauce and sugar. Boil shrimp and squid in soy sauce or salt. Cut octopus into thin strips and soak in sweet vinegar. Put back koya-tofu and simmer. Bake eggs and cut into thin slices. Shape vegetables and seafood for decoration, and mix the rest into the vinegared rice.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
(Outline of the people who have passed on the tradition, preservation groups, use of SNS, modern efforts such as commercialization, etc.)
It is available at kappo restaurants and sushi restaurants in the prefecture, and is also sold in the prepared food section of supermarkets. Momotaro's Matsuri Sushi," which is made by arranging ingredients on a bed of vinegared rice, is a product of Okayama's barazushi made into an ekiben. It has been a long seller at Okayama Station for over 50 years.