Today, let’s return to Nihonbashi to focus on japanese cuisine during the Edo period thanks to five character payers will be able to hire in IKI :
2 among the 4 starting cards: the boiled egg peddler and the salt peddler.
3 season cards: the soba stand, the sushi stand and the salt peddler.
Rice was not only a staple food in Asia but also the original base of the currency. It is measured in koku, a measure of capacity that the game translates as “bale” and that equaled (at the time) about 278 litres, which would weigh about 150 kg (redefined as 180 litres in 1891, if you encountered that number elsewhere).
A koku was also the approximate amount of rice needed to feed one adult for one year. This explains why wages and other dues were often measured in koku, an echo of which you see on the occupation cards.
Boiled Egg Peddler (Start)
This friendly woman sells eggs yude tamago, eggs boiled “medium-rare” that accompany noodle dishes like ramen. This kind of food is as popular and common today as it was at the time of the shogunate.
Salt Peddler (Start)
In Japan salt is mostly extracted from sea water. It is, of course, used for cooking, but it also plays a role in purgatory ceremonies and rituals as it is ascribed cleaning and protective properties. This latter use is probably best known from the salt-sprinkling rituals preceding sumo wrestling matches.
Soba Stand (Spring)
Soba are noodles made of buckwheat. You will encounter them everywhere in Japanese cuisine, from expensive restaurants to street stands. Traditionally you eat them with chopsticks or slurp them from a bowl, creating more or less noise in the process (a custom that is on the decline).
Dumpling Peddler (Summer)
This street peddler offers shiratama dango, sweet dumplings made of rice flour. You would eat them cold, sometimes further sweetened with molasses or syrup, as a dessert or as a tidbit in-between meals.
Sushi stand (Autumn)
Sushi originally was a method to preserve fresh-water fish. Coming from the Asian mainland, it has been known in Japan at least since the year 718. The form we know today and the use of salt-water fish has developed in Edo. You could buy sushi on the piers, the fish coming fresh from the boat. It would be hard to improve on that, and at the time the pollution of the sea was also not a problem.
Feeding your Kobun :
At the end of each season (i.e. at the end of months 3, 6, 9 and 12) players have to feed their Kobun by spending one bale of rice for each Kobun on the main board. Kobun are placed on Character cards when hired by a player. In the case a player does not have enough bales of rice to feed their Kobun, unfed ones leave play which means that player will not receive any resources and IKI (victory points of the game) from these characters.