Beans (mame)


Beans (mame)

***** Location: Japan, worldwide
***** Season: Non-seasonal Topic
***** Category: Plant / Humanity


Beans are a great vegetable food and very much present on the Japanese table.

BEAN, BEANS and PEAS just like that (mame, too 豆、まめ ) is not a kigo in Japan but a non-seasonal topic.
There are many varieties of plants and they are mentioned with their names to become kigo. There are also a lot of human activities involved in harvesting the beans, many of them are kigo.

The Japanese word "mame" can also be synonym for something "small".

Beans are classed as pulses whereas soybeans are classed as oilseeds. The word "soy" is derived from the Japanese word 醤油 (shoyu) (soy sauce/soya sauce).
Read more about Soybeans in the Wikipedia

Let us look at some kigo with the beans.


.................................. SPRING

flowers of the beans, mame no hana 豆の花

© PHOTO 高山正明(たかやままさあき)


.................................. SUMMER

beans flowering in summer :

(many have their fruit in autumn)

azuki no hana 小豆の花 (あずきのはな) Adzuki flowers
daizu no hana 大豆の花(だいずのはな)soy bean flowers

ingenmame no hana 隠元豆の花(いんげんまめのはな) green beans flowers
Phaseolus vulgaris

natamame no hana 刀豆の花(なたまめのはな)sword bean flowers
Canavalia gladiata

sasage no hana 豇豆の花(ささげのはな)Sasage flowers, cowpea flowers
Vigna sinensis


Jelly Bean Cake (mizu-yookan)
made from red adzuki bean paste.

beans with sweets, mitsu mame 蜜豆
fruit, beans and sweet sauce, furuutsu mitsumame
bean jam, agar, and pieces of fruit served in syrup
..... anmitsu 餡蜜(あんみつ)

boiled adzuki beans, yude azuki 茹小豆
simmerd and boiled adzuki beans, ni azuki 煮小豆(にあずき)
cold adzuki beans soup, hiyashi shiruko
icecream with adzuki beans, azuki aisu

cooked rice with beans, mame meshi 豆飯 まめめし

making natto, natto tsukuru 納豆造る
Natto are fermented soy beans, a speciality from the Mito area, now eaten all over Japan.

planting beans, mame uu 豆植う
..... mame maku 豆蒔く(まめまく)
planting soy beans, daizu maku 大豆蒔く(だいずまく)
planting adzuki, azuki maku 小豆蒔く(あずきまく)


.................................. AUTUMN

© PHOTO Wikipedia

green soybeans on branches, edamame 枝豆
twig beans
beans for moon watching, tsukimi mame月見豆(つきみまめ)
They are harvested on the branches and boiled for a short while. Sprinkled with salt on the pods, each person shells them for himself. They are quite a delicacy with a cold beer.

cooked rice with big beans, sasage meshi
豇豆飯 ささげめし, 大角豆

These beans originate from Central Africa, but are now widely used in Japan.
cowpea; black-eyed pea; southern pea, sasage
Click HERE for some photos of the beans !

planting broad beans, soramame uu

planting Chinese pea pods, endoo uu 豌豆植う(えんどううう)

picking beans, mame hiku 豆引く
picking soy beans, daizu hiku 大豆引く(だいずひく)
picking adzuki beans, azuki hiku 小豆引く(あずきひく)

drying soy beans, daizu hosu 大豆干す
drying beans, mame hosu 豆干す
drying adzuki beans, azuki hosu 小豆干す(あずきほす)
In our area, they are often dried on the roadside, hung over the metal road protections. Other farmers spread them straight on the road asphalt, leaving barely space for one car to pass by.

rafters for drying beans, mame haza 豆稲架(まめはざ)
hitting beans, mame utsu 豆打つ(まめうつ), mame tataku 豆叩く(まめたたく), daizu utsu 大豆打つ(だいずうつ) azuki utsu 小豆打つ(あずきうつ)

shells of adzuki, azukigara 小豆殻(あずきがら)
shells of beans, mamegara 豆殻(まめがら)

Beans in autumn kigo


.................................. WINTER

throwing beans for good luck at Setsubun,
mame maki 豆撒 まめまき
bean-scattering ceremony
lucky beans, fukumame 福豆(ふくまめ)
"beans for getting older", toshitori mame 年取豆(としとりまめ)
"beans for one's age" toshi no mame 年の豆(としのまめ)
beans to throw at the demon, oni-uchi mame 鬼打豆(おにうちまめ)
beans for the demon, oni no mame 鬼の豆(おにのまめ
throwing beans, mame uchi 豆打(まめうち)
Also listed in the SPRING section of some saijiki.

Worldwide use

Things found on the way


Masaoka Shiki Memorial Museum

edamame ya san sun tonde kuchi ni iru

this edamame bean -
it flies for three sun and then
enters my mouth

Tr. Gabi Greve

one sun 寸 is about 3 cm.

This haiku shows the great attention to details of the poet.

. Masaoka Shiki 正岡子規 .


soramame wa makoto ni aoki aji shitari

these broad beans
really, they taste
soooo green

Hosomi Ayako 細見綾子(1907~1997)


ume ga ka ya kitsune no ana ni aka no meshi

plum blossom scent--
at the fox's hole
red beans and rice

aka no meshi, sekihan 赤飯, red azuki beans with rice, is cooked to celebrate many events in the human life. It is an old Chinese custom to remember the red rice varieties of olden times.

fuku mame mo fukucha mo tada no hitori kana

lucky beans
and lucky tea
just for me alone

Issa, Tr. David Lanoue



mame-haza no yama no hi hanare hajime keri

the autumn sunbeam
on the soybean-hazas
has been going by

Murakami Shouko

source : Shirawobi - Haiku from Shimane 白魚火秀句


at the Osakan bar --

"chibi" (pen-name for Dennis M. Holmes)
September 2008

New Year's Tea, Good Luck Tea (fukucha)

Related words

***** . Bean sprouts (moyashi 萌やし) .

***** . daizuko 大豆粉 soybean flour, soy flour .

***** WASHOKU ... Japanese Food SAIJIKI




Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Legends with Soy Beans -
In the Tono Monogatari, Iwate
and more to check

Gabi Greve said...

Legend about Sekihan
Fukui, Sarutahiko Jinja 猿田彦神社
福井県福井市冬野町29-2 Fukui, Fuyuno town
猿田彦神社の春祭り Spring Festival at Sarutahiko Shrine
held on the 15th day of April. There is a 獅子の頭 lion head mask, a Tengu mask and a hoko 鉾 a long spear from the shrine brought to a family in the village over night.
The food offerings are amazake 甘酒 sweet Sake, sekihan 赤飯 red ritual rice, botamochi ぼたもち rice cakes and others.
Next day the ritual objects are brought back to the shrine.

Gabi Greve said...

Legend about Sekihan

- - - related to weddings:
Pouring soup or tea over sekihan 赤飯 red auspicious rice, it would bring rain on the wedding day.
from Chiba 千葉県 印旛郡 Inba district 酒々井町 Shisui town

Gabi Greve said...

Sekihan legend and Ebisu
Yamanashi 山梨 都留市 Tsuru city

On Day 20 of January Ebisu san goes out to work and make money. The family sees him off with an auspicious meal of sekihan 赤飯 red rice.
If they forget to prepare the rice, the family will not make much money in the coming year.

Gabi Greve said...

Sekihan legend from Gunma
みどり市 Midori city 笠懸町 Kasakake town

. daija, orochi 大蛇 the huge serpent, great snake - legends .
A wealthy man named 赤堀の道元 Akahori no Dogen had a daughter of 16 years. She went to Mount Akagisan 赤城山, jumped into the swamp and became a huger serpent.
Her friend, who did not dare to go back home, also jumpee in and became kani カニ a crab. The water has been clear since then.
In rememberance of her death, the family goes to the swamp to pray and bring offerings of sekihan 赤飯 red ritual rice and sake 酒 rice wine in a juubako重箱 food box with many layers. The box usually sinks down to the bottom and later comes up, all empty.