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Kanto Region V.S. Kansai Region
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Thread: Kanto Region V.S. Kansai Region

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    Kanto Region V.S. Kansai Region

    Why are two different types of traditional Japanese knives for fish and vegetables?



    *Borrowing image for the sake of simplicity.

    Before Tokyo became the capital of Japan, the emperor and nobles resided in the Kansai region while the shogun lived in the Kanto region. Kansai cuisine is more refined and lighter to suit the nobility, while the flavors in Kanto were stronger for hard working laborers. Due to the class separation in this matter, the nobility in Kansai looked down and mocked those in Kanto. The animosity led to chef in Kanto to not want to use the same tools, which led to the creation of the takobiki and usuba knives that are popularly used today.


    Kansai knives on the left: yanagi and kamagata usuba
    Kanto knives on the right: takobiki and usuba


    Although, class separation through regions no longer exists, the most prominent difference between the Kanto and Kansai region that can still be seen today lies in the cuisine. You can still find these vast flavor differences by simply tasting the soy sauce; the soy sauce in Kanto is much saltier and stronger than in Kansai. Other popular dishes such as tempura are served with salt instead of a soy sauce based dips.

    Mr. Sugai always tells me about his adventures to sushi restaurants in the Kansai region, and how people there don’t eat sushi with soy sauce. Apparently, he doesn’t like asking for soy sauce since chefs tend to be surprised, but he usually ends up asking anyways. He acknowledges that Kansai cuisine is much more delicate, refined and higher level, but he prefers the saltier foods of the Kanto region since he was raised there. Me on the other hand, I like Kansai cuisine better.


    Tempura served with very fine salt


    Sashimi served at Ryuuzanpaku in Kyoto


    Fish boiled in a light thick broth.


    Jellied suppon (turtle), grilled fish, carrots and daikon wrapped in konbu seaweed, tiny cuttle octopus with veggies under, and strawberry with smoked tofu from Ryuuzanpaku in Kyoto

  2. #2
    Thank you Mari, very interesting and informative.

  3. #3
    Regional variations in the cuisine and knives have always interested me. Information about the other regions would be really interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmccurtis View Post
    Regional variations in the cuisine and knives have always interested me. Information about the other regions would be really interesting.
    I will look it up and write about it then!

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    Senior Member DeepCSweede's Avatar
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    Thank you Mari, that is very interesting, please feel free to share more.

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    Thank you mari, I enjoyed reading this

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    Senior Member ThEoRy's Avatar
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    Great info!!

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    Senior Member Candlejack's Avatar
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    This was great, very interesting. Would love to see more!

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    knyfeknerd's Avatar
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    Thanks, this is great. I think we all love a good history lesson. Bring it on!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candlejack View Post
    This was great, very interesting. Would love to see more!
    Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed and I will definitely be writing more, especially with such great feedback.

    By the way... Your icon makes me SO happy... CANDLE JACK FROM FREAKAZOID! It's been so long, I miss that show.

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