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Wanko Soba

”Wanko” refers to a wooden bowl in dialect. Although the origin of Wanko Soba is not certain, it seems there is the Hanamaki theory and the Morioka theory.In the Hanamaki theory, about 370 years ago, Nanbu Toshinao, on the way to Edo, was searching for an inn in Hanamaki. There he was served soba on a flat platter and loved it so much that he had many servings. The Morioka theory is that when Motoyoshi, known as the Prime Minster of the people, returned to Morioka and ate soba, he loved it so much that it was said that ”Soba is eaten in wooden bowls”.Originally in the areas such as Morioka and Hanamaki, where while entertaining guests it was a custom to be very hospitable, serving soba was the custom. The only way to serve soba to a large number of guests is to place it on a platter a little at a time over and over. It is sad that this is the origin of Wanko Soba. Called ”Otebachi”, it is a custom of serving guests food over and over without reserve as a way to show hospitality.

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Hanamaki, Morioka

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