Joao Rodriguez , who visited Japan in the Azuchi-Momoyama period , wrote in his ' Church history in Japan ' that the ' abilities ' ( practical skills ) persons in the ruling class should have were ' the art of Japanese archery , kemari ( a game played by aristocrats in the Heian period ) and the use of kitchen knives . '
Before this time , the Takahashi clan ( descendents of Iwakamutsukari no Mikoto ) had managed Hochoshiki ( ceremony for the use of kitchen knives ) , and he devised new Hochoshiki ( cooking ) that was different from the traditional one in accordance with the order of the Emperor Koko .
Since the book contains a description of the ritual of the kitchen-knife method in Shijo School as well as descriptions starting with the naming and size of each place on the cutting board , followed by specific recipes , and decoration methods for chopsticks and eating utensils , it is now considered as a valuable historical source of information on materials and the art of cooking of the Japanese cuisine of those days .
The technique which is described as a tradition harking back to a time when FUJIWARA no Yamakage cleaned carp is revived by a performer in a lacquered hat and hitatare ( samurai 's large square-cut coat with cord laced sleeve edges ) cutting and trimming such material as carp , sea bream , and bonito without touching the fish by using only a kitchen-knife and manabashi ( type of long chopsticks used in the preparation of fish ) , which is sometimes dedicated on ritual occasions throughout Japan .
The way of the kitchen knife ( or the kitchen knife method ) is the name given to cooking-related matters such as the art of cooking , its etiquette , and its traditions , and it has as its symbol one of the most frequently used cooking utensils , the kitchen-knife .
In a cooking book titled " Shijoryu Hocho-gaki " written towards the end of the Muromachi period , whale meat is ranked number one of the fish foodstuffs , with the carp second , and followed by other fishes .
" Konowata jiru " ( konowata soup ) is made by tapping konowata with a kitchen knife on a cutting board , putting it into a wooden bowl , and then pouring an extremely light-seasoned soup into the bowl .
When Motoyasu MATSUDAIRA ( Ieyasu TOKUGAWA ) became ruler of Japan and established the Edo bakufu ( Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun ) , ' Shijo-Sonobe School ' was charged with being responsible for the cuisine of the bakufu , since Sonobe Izuminokami ( a master of kitchen-knife who had learned in Shijo School ) had served the Matsudaira clan of Mikawa Province ; consequently , that promoted to prevail Shijo School among domains in the Edo period .
This solemn demonstration of the masterly performance showed skill in handling a kitchen knife , and is considered to be the kitchen knife ceremony of the Shijo School , and has been passed on as the Kitchen Knife Ceremony of Shijo School to this day .
In either case , it appears that sashimi came to be recognized as a dish in which ingredients were thinly sliced and seasoned directly before being eaten , and " Shijoryu Hochogaki " ( cookbook of the Shijo School , compiled in 1489 ) uses the word to refer to dishes ranging from the slices of jellyfish to the slices of salted green pheasant and salted copper pheasant that have had salt removed using hot water before being thinly sliced .
In the Muromachi period , - Kimitsugu ( Saburozaemon ) OKUSA ( a master of kitchen-knife ( cooker ) of Shijo School ) who had served the Shogun family of Ashikaga clan established ' Okusa School , ' - also , Hatakeyama School started from the Hatakeyama family ( detailes unknown ) , - the origin of Hatakeyama School and everything from its preparation to manners including the recipe , kitchen-knife method , and table manners were transferred to the Shogun 's retainer , Jiro SHINJI Saemon no jo ( third-ranked officer of the Left Division of Outer Palace Guards ) who was to establish the Shinji School , and - branches of Shijo School started to take hold in the cuisine not only in Court noble society but also in Bushi society .
It is said that the the Shijo School was derived from a new kitchen-knife method ( cooking manner ) which was establisehd by FUJIWARA no Yamakage ( Shijo Chunagon , or Shijo Vice-Councilor , 824-888 ) in accordance with an order given by the Emperor Koko .
The kitchen-knife method established by Yamakage was handed down as a family profession to the Shijo family which was affililated with the Northern House of the Fujiwara clan , Uona Line and descended from FUJIWARA no Takasue ; therefore , the method was called ' Shijo School . '
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