Traditional Pickles Producers in Akita Pref. Struggle for Survival

Society Lifestyle

Yokote, Akita Pref., Dec. 16 (Jiji Press)--People who make smoked radish pickles called "iburigakko," a specialty of Akita Prefecture, northeastern Japan, face a major challenge for survival, following the introduction of the revised food sanitation law.

Farmers producing iburigakko have traditionally made the pickles in their huts during the off-season, using recipes handed down through many generations.

But regulatory permission became mandatory for production of the pickles under the revised law, which took effect in June, and producers may need to revamp their facilities at a large cost to meet hygiene standards required by the law.

With most iburigakko producers being old and running very small farms, the new requirement under the law is causing some of them to think that they may not be able to carry on making the traditional food for long.

Iburigakko had originally been developed as a preserved food in Akita, where heavy snowfall is common in winter. In autumn, "daikon" Japanese radishes are smoked with wood after being hung and dried, and then pickled in rice bran including seasonings such as salt for more than 40 days.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press