The story of “junsaï” is quite old in Japanese cuisine.
In the "Man’yôshu", an 8th century anthology of Japanese poetry, the word 'junsaï' is used to represent summer.
Junsaï is a specialty of Akita prefecture and, more particularly, of Mitanechô where 90% of the production is located.
It is a wild aquatic plant which only grows in very pure soft water, and more especially natural marsh water. It's delicious, naturally gelatinous leaves are a precious, luxurious and looked for food to use with dashi stock, Sunomono (vinegary salad) and certain desserts in traditional Japanese cuisine. Fresh Junsai is a seasonal product. It is only harvested from mid-May to the beginning of September.
It's Latin name is Brasenia schreberi. It is a healthy, natural plant low in calories (Only 6 calories/ 100g).
KANESHOKU owns these marshes and monitors the purity of the natural Shirakami mountain water.
These mountains located in the north of Honshû edge the Aomori and Akita prefectures. They are covered by beech forests, as nowhere in the world, and the site was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.
The junsaï harvest is a difficult job reserved for women because the boat is too small for a man. The aquatic plants are exclusively handpicked all day long during their growing season.