Moso Bamboo Shoot

Updated: Sep 18, 2020

  The people of Tsuruoka love moso (pronounced as “mowsow”). Some Tsuruokans use moso for miso broth with sake lees, and for moso-jiru (miso-based soup with moso). Some edacious residents eat them almost everyday when moso is in season. Here, moso is one of the beloved ingredients to every inhabitant.

  Yutagawa Onsen is home to moso production. We interviewed one avid moso farmer who plays a major role during the busiest season when the area is flooded with tourists.

Mr. Yasuhiro Ooi

  On 18th May, when we could finally enjoy the warm, fine weather, we paid a visit to Yutagawa Onsen. It was the golden period of moso according to an annual crop calendar.

  Mr. Ooi, who inherited his bamboo groves from his grandfather, has been engaged in moso production for well over 50 years.

  Normally, according to Mr. Ooi, moso is in season in mid-May and farmers in the hot springs vicinity have hectic days harvesting the bamboo at its best, but this year, it was the worst harvest that he had ever experienced. The reason that he could come up with at once was the recent colder weeks than in a typical May.

Mr. Ooi demonstrates the size of the bud

  “When the buds of moso were the size of our thumb earlier, they didn’t grow enough because of the boiling hot weather la