The Japan Tofu Association is Japan's representative body of all domestic tofu producers.
Japan Tofu Association Tofu Nutrition Facts Recipes Health Benefits
Home >> Tofu >> History of Tofu
About Tofu
Production Technique
History of Tofu
How to make Tofu
Tofu Q&A

History of Tofu

What is the gTofu Hyakuchinh?

The word gTofuh first appeared in Japanese literature toward the end of the Heian period (794-1185). It is written on a document of offerings in the Kasuga Shrine in Nara. This document contains the word gTofuh written in different kanji characters from those used today.

The term gTofu cuisineh is first used in the gOkusa-ke Ryourishoh (Okusa Family Cooking Guide), and is said to have been written in the early Edo period (1603-1867).

The gTofu Hyakuchinh (100 Tofu Delicacies), containing recipes and cooking instructions for one hundred tofu dishes, was published in 1782 (the second year of Tenmei). The author was Seikyoudoujin Kahitsujun. Of course, this is a penname. The most convincing theory is that this book was actually written by an engraver called Soya Gakusen.

gTofu Hyakuchinh - A huge bestseller

In any case, it seems that this book was written as a hobby by someone who wasnft a culinary specialist. gTofu Hyakuchinh became a bestseller, and in the following year the gTofu Hyakuchin Sequelh and subsequently the gTofu Hyakuchin Addendum Editionh were published.

Furthermore, the concept of making a hundred different dishes from a single food resource became popular and books such as the gTai Hyakuchin Ryouri Himitsubakoh (100 Secret Sea Bream Delicacies) and the gKansho Hyakuchinh (100 Sweet Potato Delicacies) followed suit.

gTofu Hyakuchinh classifies its recipes into six categories. The first three categories are for dishes that can be eaten every day, while the latter three categories describe foods that are a little unusual.
The second half of the book typically has recipes for gMockh dishes which are made to appear like something else such as gShijimi Modokih (Mock Clams), gAyu Modokih (Mock Sweetfish) and gShojin Uni Dengakuh (Shojin Sea Urchin Grill).

When eating, people in the Edo period customarily separated foods with gfish and meath smells and gShojinh foods. For this reason gModokih (Mock) dishes were essential.

A look through the recipes reveals an extensive variety of cooking techniques such as simmering, steaming, boiling, grilling, deep-frying and shallow-frying, etc. The people of the Edo period may well have eaten more tofu than the people of today.

Back to top