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  • Evolving washoku (Japanese food culture) Do you know onigirazu, a symbol of the evolution?

    Evolving washoku (Japanese food culture) Do you know onigirazu, a symbol of the evolution?

    Washoku is based on homemade dishes.

  • Today, Japanese cuisine is very popular worldwide. In addition to sushi, tempura, Japanese beef steak, sashimi and other regular dishes that are also well known overseas, there are inexhaustible varieties of dishes that have been developed by the imagination and creativity of the Japanese. They evolve with the times, but are based on dishes made by a loving mother for her family members.

    One of such homemade dishes is onigiri, which is a palm-sized triangular or round ball of cooked rice stuffed with ingredients and wrapped in a thin sheet of dried laver. It is pressed and shaped with both hands and originated as long as 1,000 years ago. It is believed that the current shapes of onigiri have formed around 300 years before. These can be seen in Japanese manga and animations.

    Onigiri is very popular washoku, because most Japanese are used to onigiri made by their mothers since when they were little. In Japan, onigiri is loved by people of all ages, because it is easy to eat with one hand and to carry around. Besides, it tastes good when eaten cold, and you can choose your favorite ingredients. Today, onigiri are also sold at convenience stores, and more than 10 million are consumed each day all over Japan. Various efforts have been put into the packaging to retain the flavor and texture of fresh onigiri. Not a few foreign tourists are impressed by the unique packaging of onigiri.

  • Popular evolved onigiri!

  • Now, evolved onigiri have appeared that maintain the basic characteristics of onigiri. They are called onigirazu, and are not pressed and shaped by hand. It is easy to make, and various ingredients that are not usually used for onigiri, such as Spam (canned meat), sausage and pasta, are used. Combinations of ingredients depend on your own ideas. It is a sandwich-like onigiri. Onigirazu are very popular with young people and children because they can easily make original onigirazu by expressing animals, flowers and animated characters.

    Onigirazu are characterized by their kawaisa (cuteness). They are colorful, and you can combine any ingredients as you like. It is fun and enjoyable. This characteristic is connected to kawaii (cute), a unique Japanese sense that is well known worldwide. The kawaii culture is reflected by the colorful fashion and lead characters of manga and animations, which are attractive for their imperfection. People value doing what they like, as they like. Goods, fashion, videos, music and animations that are created based on such value are today attracting attention around the world.

    This sense of kawaii is not only expressed in the current youth culture, but was also found in ancient times as a unique Japanese cultural element. Onigirazu is also considered to originate from the spirit of Japanese that has been handed down over more than 1,000 years and flexibility.

    Kawaii should not be defined in a serious way but be felt and sympathized with each other. Is onigirazu kawaii? Is it delicious? Enjoy it as you like.