2018 Volume 51 Issue 3 Pages 151-164
Hearings were conducted regarding traditional regional recipes and lifestyles in Hiroshima Prefecture's western region during the 30 s and 40 s in the Showa era. Based on the results of these hearings, this paper discusses certain traditional home-cooking styles. Consideration is also given to the future of home cooking. The participants of the hearing were aged sixty or older and had lived, for at least thirty years, in any one of the following four districts: Inokuchi, in the West Ward of Hiroshima City; Yuki, in the Saeki Ward of Hiroshima City; Jigozen, in Hatsukaichi City; and Minamisakae, in Ohtake City.
According to views expressed in the hearings, the participants' daily meals consisted primarily of rice, miso-soup, and pickles, with Iriko Dashi (soup stock made from dried sardine) as the main base. Creativity and effort were put into the home-cooked and western-style dishes, including curry and rice; it was stated that croquettes were also served.
Participants also noted that on festive occasions, special meals were prepared at home. For example, Nigome, a local dish of stewed vegetables, was served to celebrate Otanya, a Buddhist religious anniversary.
For in-between-meal snacks, home-grown vegetables were consumed, as well as inexpensive, commercially available products, such as chocolate and chewing gum. Bananas and homemade sweets were also eaten as snacks.
Traditional homemade dishes passed down through generations were stated to be sushi, tai-somen (fine wheat noodles cooked with sea bream), nigome, sashimi-konnyaku (called “yama-hugu” locally, an uncooked jelly-like food), chimaki (rice cakes wrapped in bamboo leaves), noppe-jiru (a thick soup with vegetables), and moburi (a local rice dish cooked with various seasonings and vegetables).
A glance at our contemporary culinary lifestyle shows a growing tendency to depend on food sources outside the home, and also reflects changes in our home-cooking styles. Yet cooking at home helps unite families, passing ancestors' wisdom to subsequent generations, and preserves traditional recipes. Homemade dishes reflect people's care and affection for their families. The tradition and significance of home-cooking in our society should now be re-acknowledged.