Today’s book is called “Hoshigaki” “Dried Persimmons”
Kaki, of course, is persimmon.
Hosu means “To dry”
so Hoshigaki means Dried Persimmons.
Dried persimmons are quite common in rural area. Baba (my husband’s mom) picks persimmons from their trees every fall. The persimmons, as this book explains, are not the sweet variety. They are bitter and must be dried in order to be eaten. They are strung and hung up like in the photos. During the winter, they can be eaten as a snack.
After watching Baba do this “Hoshigaki” process, I know that it is quite arduous. These dried persimmons are expensive in city supermarkets because they require so much care.
I have heard that for Japanese people of yesteryear, these dried persimmons were the only snack that was available in the winter. Remember, no cakes and chocolate at the grocery store! It was a hard life back then. So these dried persimmons were a real treat.
This book is quite interesting. Even if you can’t read Japanese, you can follow the photos. It is available here.