Dojo Hachiya Gaki
Dojo Hachiya Gaki
|Name of the GI||Dojo Hachiya Gaki，Dōjō Hachiya Gaki|
|Date of Protection||2017/12/15|
|Applicant – Name and Address||
Minokamo City Dōjō Hachiya Gaki Promotion Association,
3-16, Maehiracho, Minokamo City, Gifu Prefecture
"Dojo Hachiya Gaki" are dried persimmons (1) made by using the "Dojo Hachiya" variety of astringent persimmon that is cultivated in Minokamo City in Gifu Prefecture.
This variety of persimmons is squarish and has slightly pointed tips. Their sugar content is rated at 18%, thus a further characteristic is their deep sweetness (2).
"Dojo Hachiya Gaki" are very large dried persimmons with amber-colored flesh, a soft, melty texture and moderate sweetness. Consequently, they are highly regarded as gifts.
Local producers maintain "Dojo Hachiya" trees in the production area, take budwood from them and cultivate seedlings and saplings. Fruit of "Dojo Hachiya" harvested from these trees is the raw ingredients for making dried persimmons. So that the trees produce large fruit weighing over 250g, the fruit borne on each branch is reduced by disbudding and thinning out superfluous fruit.
In order to make the most of the "Dojo Hachiya" fruit's square shape after harvest, the fruits are peeled by hand before undergoing sulfur fumigation. Next they are shade-dried and then sun-dried. So that moisture is not retained within the flesh during the drying process, the persimmons are squeezed by hand while being shaped. In the final stage of processing, they are gently brushed with a broom made of rice straw (nio-bouki), which leaves their surface enveloped in an elegant coating of white powder (fructose granules). This completes the processing of "Dojo Hachiya Gaki".
Minokamo is warm year-round, with many fine days and has a moderate rainfall, meaning that it has a climate well suited for cultivating persimmons. In addition, sweet persimmon can be produced because of the low temperature at night, which modulates respiration and transpiration. Further, during winter, which is the production season for dried persimmons, there are many fine days and chilly mornings and nights. Consequently, not only do the products take on a pretty, amber-colored luster, but they can also be dried out slowly without superfluous moisture retention caused by sudden drying. Furthermore, the processes of hand squeezing and hand brushing with rice-straw brooms are traditional techniques inherited over time in the area.
Thus, the characteristics of "Dojo Hachiya Gaki" are created by the region's climate and traditional production techniques.
It is said that "Dojo Hachiya Gaki" have been used as gifts for the Imperial Court and the shogunate for over a thousand years.
Presently, over 43,000 "Dojo Hachiya Gaki" are shipped to markets annually as high-grade specialty products of Minokamo City. Further, they won a silver cup prize at Exposition Universelle de Paris in 1900 and a gold cup prize at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition held in St. Louis in 1904. They have also been exhibited at the Milan Expo in 2015. As described, "Dojo Hachiya Gaki" is highly esteemed in both Japan and abroad.
In 1978, "Dojo Hachiya Gaki Promotion Association" was established. The association has undertook educational activities to increase producer numbers, training programs to improve quality, and also strives for sales expansion. It also took initiative in the exhibition of "Dojo Hachiya Gaki" in the 2015 Milan Expo.
- Dried persimmons: They are made by tying together peeled astringent persimmons with a string and suspending them for drying in a well-ventilated place. It is said that in Japan dried persimmons have been made as ceremonial confectionary at least since the middle of the Heian Period (794-1185).
- Sweetness and astringency of persimmons: Astringent persimmons possess not only fructose, but also soluble tannins, giving them a strong astringency. The drying process changes the tannins into an insoluble form, making them edible.