- Main lore areas
- Main ingredients used
Carp, miso, rice
- History/origin/related events
Saku City, located in the eastern part of Nagano Prefecture, has been cultivating carp using rice paddies in Saku-daira, where double cropping is difficult. In 1825, when Iwamurada feudal lord Naito Toyogomori returned from Osaka, he gave Yodo carp to Namiki Nanazaemon, a wealthy merchant in Nozawa, and the cultivation of Saku carp took root. After 1872, with the development of mechanical spinning, it became easier to obtain "Sanagi," or carp, which could be used as feed for mass production, and carp farming rapidly developed, and the name "Saku Koi" became nationally known. As time went by, changes in eating habits and the spread of agricultural chemicals caused the gradual decline of carp farming in Saku City, but recent years have seen the spread of reduced pesticide cultivation and adjustments to reduce the amount of pesticides used, and efforts to revive the "Saku carp" have begun.
Usually, carp are shipped after two years, but "Saku carp" takes three to four years to grow to a suitable size for eating. Koikoku," a traditional soup in Saku City, is made by boldly cutting the fish into cylindrical slices and simmering them in miso paste, and is an indispensable New Year's dish in the Saku area. The "koikoku" was first eaten on New Year's Day when Shinozawa Sagoemon Shigeno Baido, an ancestor of Saku Hotel President Shinozawa for eight generations before him, invited Fukushima Toba Taio, a priest of Ise Jingu Shrine, to his residence on the sixth day of the New Year in 1746, and fed him "koikoku". Koi no umani" (carp cooked in a sweet broth) is a familiar dish in the Saku area, and if the carp has a good fat content, it melts in the mouth. The flesh of carp is light, fluffy, and fatty, and good soup stock is made from the ara. Although people tend to think of carp as being muddy, "Saku carp" raised in a clear stream is delicious as sashimi, and "arai," a type of carp that has been firmed up in cold water, goes well with Saku's locally brewed sake.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
Carp is an indispensable fish for weddings and funerals in the mountainous regions. It is often eaten during the New Year's holiday, with the hope that the fish will help people stay healthy throughout the year and not get sick.
- How to eat
Boldly cut carp into cylindrical slices and simmer them in miso. The recipe varies from region to region and from household to household, depending on whether or not sugar is added to the miso, whether or not the scales are removed, and so on. It is served with powdered sansho (Japanese pepper) to taste.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
Even today, it is still made in every household. January 6 is the "Birthday of Saku Carp," which was established by the Japan Anniversary Association on this day in 1746, when Shinozawa Sagoemon Shigeno Baido of Saku, Shinshu, presented "carp dishes" to the Ise Jingu Shrine. It was established on this day in 1746 by the Japan Anniversary Association.