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Monthly Feature Story-May 2019-Bamboo / Bamboo Shoots

Cultural Tips-Bamboo / Bamboo Shoots

In springtime, the bamboo plant is indispensable in the Japanese kitchen. The most widely eaten parts of the bamboo plant are the shoots. Edible bamboo shoots are mentioned in the "Kojiki", Japan's oldest historical record written in the early 8th century.

The stalks of the plants are used for everything from food containers to thin skewers for grilled chicken, locally known as "yakitori". So many kitchen utensils are made from bamboo that it is impossible to list them all!

The bamboo is light, flexible, easy to work with yet strong, so it has been used in many ways since ancient times. A traditional Japanese musical instrument called "shakuhachi" is also made from bamboo.

Another feature of bamboo is that it grows quite rapidly. Some species even gain a meter or more per day. Because of its stunning vitality and strength, the bamboo was seen as having magical, mysterious power among the Japanese people in ancient times.

The bamboo has long played a special role in people's lives in Japan.

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