Konnayku, also known as Konjac, konjak, konjaku, devil's tongue, voodoo lily, snake palm, or elephant yam (though this name is also used for A. paeoniifolius), is a plant of the genus Amorphophallus. It is native to warm subtropical to tropical eastern Asia, from Japan and China south to Indonesia.
Mukodamashi is one of the Japanese sweet dumplings and is also one of the popular foods in Totsukawa.
Story and origin
Mukodamashi is made from grass called foxtail millet. It is used especially for making rice cakes. People use mukodamashi instead of rice when a rice shortage happens. People in Totsukawa village started making it a long time ago. Its color is usually yellow, but Mukodamashi made in Totsukawa is white. The name of the rice cake “Mukodamashi” comes from an old story. A long time ago, rice was very precious and rice cakes were even more so. When they ran short of rice, house wives used “Mukodamashi” millet for making rice cakes instead of rice. Because this millet is so white, husbands in the village cannot tell the difference between them. “Damasu” means “deceive”, and “muko” means “husband.” So “Muko-damashi” means “deceive the husbands”. This is the reason people call this rice cake “Mukodamashi.” "Yubeshi" is one of the popular foods in Totsukawa village. To make Yubeshi, we first cut the top of a Yuzu mandarin. Then we take everything out and make it empty. Then, put miso or buckwheat powder into it. Put the lid back on the mandarin. Make a straw bag and put the Yuzu into it. We hang it under the roof and let it dry for about half a year. It is one of the traditional preserves in Totsukawa. It is very popular as souvenir. You can eat it with Japanese Sake, put it in Ocha-zuke, rice with Japanese tea, or put it in miso-soup.
"Roasted “ayu” with salt" is the staple dish of Totsukawa. This river fish is called ayu. “Ayu” is a kind of salmon. The habitat of this fish is west of Pacific ocean in places like East Asia and Japan. Even in English this fish is called “ayu”. Ayu fish can live only in clean rivers. In Totsukawa we can catch a lot of them in the summer season. They are delicate and it’s not so easy to keep them fresh. So when you want to eat them in the city area, you have to pay not little money for them.
Meharizushi is a local specialty food of Totsukawa, Yoshino county and the surrounding areas. Meharizushi consists of a rice ball that has been wrapped in a pickled Takana leaf. The name comes from one having to open one's mouth and eyes wide in order to eat the food. The filling for meharizushi is different for each recipe, for instance sometimes pickles are put inside, sometimes soy sauce is added for taste and sometimes, there is no filling at all.