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Funazushi. Source: tokyofoodcast / Flickr.

Extreme Sushi: Before These Tasty Bites, There Was Funazushi (Video)


Before sushi became an internationally beloved delicacy, another Japanese culinary marvel reigned supreme – Funazushi. Unlike the hastily prepared haya-nare sushi which most westerners are familiar with, Funazushi is a patient creation, requiring three years to attain its distinctive flavors. Rooted in history, this traditional dish hails from Japan's Lake Biwa region, where it has flourished for over four centuries. Funazushi distinguishes itself with its main ingredients: rice and fermented fish indigenous to Lake Biwa. It is an acquired taste and not everyone is brave enough to try it!

Mariko Kitamura, the torchbearer of her family's 18-generation-old shop in Takashima City, holds the intricate knowledge of this meticulous process. Alongside her husband, she remains dedicated to preserving the legacy and authentic techniques of crafting Funazushi. As sushi's popularity expanded globally, Funazushi's distinct and time-intensive preparation has largely remained a local secret.

Top image: Funazushi. Source: tokyofoodcast / Flickr.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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