“Ochazuke” and complicated Kyoto culture


Category : Culture, Food

What is “Ochazuke”?

“Ochazuke” is common but you can say “chazuke” too. “Cha” means “tea” and “zuke” means “pickle” or “soak” in Japanese. “O” (お) at the beginning of some Japanese words is politeness.

“a simple Japanese dish made by pouring green tea, dashi, or hot water over cooked rice roughly in the same proportion as milk over cereal, usually with savoury toppings.” (from Wikipedia)

As someone in the comment section said, “ochazuke” in this video is a bit too gorgeous. I wouldn’t make such “ochazuke”.

For ordinary Japanese, this “ochazuke ” in the photo below is common. We simply put it on rice and add hot tea or water on it. In the past, there was a discussion whether tea or hot water should be poured on rice. According to the company, you don’t need to pour tea on it because it already contains the ingredient of tea.

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Official Link

Complicated Kyoto Culture

So far, I explained about “Ochazuke”, and then, I want to tell you about “Kyoto Culture” related to “Ochazuke”.  In Kyoto, “ochazuke” is called “bubuzuke” too. There are some stories about “bubuzuke”.

  • When you visit someone’s house in Kyoto, if you are asked at first “Would you like to eat bubuzuke?”, you have to decline it. By declining it, you can convey that you don’t need their hospitality.
  • If you are asked “Would you like to eat bubuzuke?” after you stay at some0ne’s home for some time, it implies that they want you to leave.

I’m not sure if these stories are true or not because some people from Kyoto deny them. Also I read that these were made up by a famous “manzaishi” (funny story teller) from Osaka in order to express the complexity of the Kyoto culture or to tease the Kyoto culture. I don’t know the truth, after all….

People in Tokyo and people in Osaka consider themselves different from each other. However, people in Osaka may find themselves different from people in Kyoto as well as people in Tokyo. It’s interesting.

By the way, if I’m invited to someone’s home, I would eat all the dishes which were served. But I’ve heard that people in some countries have to leave some stuff to show that they got full and don’t need any more. Which do you belong to?

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