Buckwheat (soba)


Buckwheat plant and food (soba)

***** Location: Japan, other regions
***** Season: Various, see below
***** Category: Plant


Buckwheat refers to a variety of plants in the dicot family Polygonaceae: the Eurasian genus Fagopyrum, the North American genus Eriogonum, and the Northern Hemisphere genus Fallopia.
Either of the latter two may be referred to as "wild buckwheat".

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

pink and red buckwheat, aka-soba 赤蕎麦


plant kigo for early autumn

soba no hana 蕎麦の花 (そばのはな)
buckwheat flowers

There are white and pink varieties.
Some villages plant the pink ones to have a pretty view for visitors.

. . . CLICK here for Photos !

mizosoba 溝蕎麦 (みぞそば)
Polygonum thunbergii


plant kigo for late autumn

shin soba 新蕎麦 (しんそば) new buckwheat
akisoba, aki soba 秋蕎麦(あきそば)autumn buckwheat

hatsu soba 初蕎麦(はつそば)first buckwheat of the season
..... arsoba 新蕎麦(あらそば)

hashirisoba 走り蕎麦(はしりそば)
buckwheat harvested early in autumn

. . . . .

humanity kigo for early winter

soba kari 蕎麦刈 (そばかり) cutting buckwheat
harvesting buckwheat
soba hosu 蕎麦干す(そばほす)drying buckwheat plants


humanity kigo for all autumn

sobatoro, soba toro 蕎麦とろ(そばとろ)
buckwheat noodles with grated yam

Japanese Autumn Food using Buckwheat

humanity food kigo for all winter

sobagaki 蕎麦掻 (そばがき) buckwheat dumplings

Yotakasoba 夜鷹蕎麦 (よたかそば)
Buckwheat noodles for the late night hawkers
. . . . . yonaki soba 夜泣蕎麦(よなきそば)

sobayu 蕎麦湯 (そばゆ) hot buckwheat water

. Japanese Winter Food using Buckwheat  

Toshikoshi Soba ... 年越しそば
Buckwheat noodles on the last day of the year

CLICK for more photos

In Japan, buckwheat is grown in the mounainous areas where no other food plants are growing any more, and made to noodles or dumplings. Many areas are famous for this delicious food.


Read more about buckwheat here:
Polygonum fagopyrum

BUCKWHEAT soba そば 蕎麦 

Worldwide use

Buchweizen, Buchweizennudeln

Things found on the way

wankosoba わんこそば (わんこ蕎麦 / (椀こそば) Morioka, buckwheat noodles
Small servings of soba, served "all you can eat" and as fast as you can eat. How many can you gulp down in xx minutes?
These noodles are also served in Hanamaki town 花巻市 and competitions are held there.

. Food from Iwate .

Soba furumai そば振る舞い to give soba as s present in Edo


Soba 蕎麦 そば <> Daruma Eating Buckwheat Noodles


Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉

soba wa mada hana de motenasu yamaji kana

buckwheat flowers
still entertain us
along the mountain path

Tr. Gabi Greve

Visited by Tojuu of Ise at my mountain hermitage

still served with flowers
on a mountain road

Tr. Reichhold

I was visited by Tojuu of Ise at my mountain hermitage

I'll serve buckwheat
while they're blossoming:
mountain path

Tr. Barnhill

Reichhold's comment:
"Tojuu of Ise, a disciple of Shikoo, visited Basho on September 3rd [1694].
Buckwheat noodles were one of Basho's favorite foods."

Barnhill's comment:
"1694 (3rd of Ninth Month; October 21). It is still too early to serve buckwheat noodles as food, so viewing their blossoms will have too."

Basho Haiku about Food

mikazuki ni ji ha oboro ya soba no hana

a crescent moon
lights the misty ground-
buckwheat flowers


yamahata ya soba no shirosa mo zotto suru

mountain field--
the buckwheat's whiteness
makes me shiver

soba no hana saku ya hotoke to futarimae

buckwheat blossoms
enough for the Buddha
and me

kunigara ya ta ni mo saki suru soba no hana

such is my homeland!
blooming in fields

Kobayashi Issa

More tr. by David Lanoue


he sings upstream
buckwheat blossoms
and summer rain

.. .. .. on his screen
.. .. .. a mail about buckwheat
.. .. .. outside a sparrow

gazing wistfully
buckwheat blossoms
in the mist

.. .. .. reading Shiki
.. .. .. the scent of buckwheat
.. .. .. around her

My website: http://users.skynet.be/geert.verbeke.bowls

Read more of Geert's haiku about the buckwheat here:


CLICK for more photos

buckwheat flowers -
a yellow butterfly
chooses pink

Gabi Greve

Related words

***** Buckwheat Honey
nonseasonal topic

Buckwheat is perhaps the darkest and strongest flavored honeys. It contains a lot of minerals and has a strong taste. Sometimes used in porters and stouts. You can also poor it over hot cake and pancakes for a healthy treat.

Gabi Greve





Anonymous said...

in falling snow
delivered to a palanquin...
buckwheat noodles

yuki chiru ya o-kago e hakobu nihachi soba


by Issa, 1820

Some rich person being carried in a palanquin orders steaming hot buckwheat noodles being sold by a street vendor.

Shinji Ogawa explains that the ni ("two") and hachi ("eight") in the name derive from the fact that these noodles were made with 20% flour and 80% buckwheat.

Tr. David Lanoue

Anonymous said...

soba-guni no tan wo kiritsutsu tsukimi kana

buckwheat country's
sharp tongues cutting...
moon gazing

by Issa, 1819
Issa's home province of Shinano (present-day Nagano Prefecture) was known for its buckwheat (soba). This haiku appears with the prescript, "One can't smell one's own bean paste"--a Japanese proverb; see Issa zenshu^ (Nagano: Shinano Mainichi Shimbunsha, 1976-79) 6.174, note 266. The editors of Issa zenshu^ gloss the middle phrase of the haiku, tan wo kititsutsu, to mean "speaking caustic words" (6.174, note 267).

Nobuyuki Yuasa's translation misses this idea; he has the "bumpkins...Sing the praise" of their buckwheat land; The Year of My Life: A Translation of Issa's Oraga Haru (Berkeley: U. of California Press, 1960; 2nd ed. 1972) 125.

Tr. and Comment by
David Lanoue

Gabi Greve - Buson said...

Yosa Buson

furusato ya sake wa ashiku to soba no hana

My hometown --
Though the sake is not good
Buckwheat flowers

Tr. Nelson/Saito

Buson and Sake

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

sobakiri-uri no fune そば切り売りの舟 boat selling buckwheat noodles
They were also popular in Osaka on the river Yodogawa 淀川の三十石船.

fune 舟 boats and ships on the rivers of Edo

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