Ryori Monogatari (a tale of food) (料理物語)

Ryori Monogatari is a food book written in the Edo period. It is quite different from food books written before the 16th century whose main themes were recipes and manners of ceremonial foods. It has concise expressions and refined sentences, and covers a wide range of foods. It is considered to be one of the foremost food books written in the Edo period.

The original text is considered to be the one which was published in 1643 by collecting recipes and so on handed down as tales. There is a mention saying "I have written this in Sayama hills, Musashi Province" in the afterword. However, details of the author are not well known as the Kinki dialect is used in the book. It is assumed that it was written by a merchant who was born in Osaka and lived in Kyoto, or by a famous cook for successors.

It is also considered that a handwritten version dated March 12, 1636 was a prototype of the published book which was completed in Sayama by sorting out the materials. In addition, Keicho-ban Version is mentioned in "Zatsugei Sosho" and so on. However, its whereabouts has not been confirmed. The book was read widely after its publication in 1643. Seven different versions were published by 1663.


The content is as follows including 20 chapters, each of which refers to a foodstuff or a recipe. The kind of a viand or a food appearing in each chapter is described on the right.

Chapter 1: Saltwater fish: 71 kinds
Chapter 2: Seaweed: 25 kinds
Chapter 3: River fish (Freshwater fish): 19 kinds
Chapter 4: Birds: 18 kinds
Chapter 5: Animals: 7 kinds
Chapter 6: Mushrooms: 12 kinds
Chapter 7: Aomono (Vegetables): 76 kinds
Chapter 8: Namadaredashi (Seasonings): 14 kinds
Chapter 9: Shiru (Soups): 46 kinds
Chapter 10: Namasu (Dishes of raw fish): 18 kinds
Chapter 11: Sashimi (Fresh slices of raw fish): 27 kinds
Chapter 12: Boiling: 35 kinds
Chapter 13: Roasting (Cooking): 11 kinds
Chapter 14: Suimono (Clear soups): 6 kinds
Chapter 15: Cooking alcohol: 9 kinds
Chapter 16: Sakana (Appetizers taken with alcoholic drinks): 27 kinds
Chapter 17: Godan (Foods and drinks served later)
Chapter 18: Confectionery: 13 kinds
Chapter 19: Teas: 3 kinds
Chapter 20: Writing of everything which was told

[Original Japanese]