Hyo-chan

Hyo-chan
Kiyoken-no Shiumai (shumai) in Yokohama

Yokohama is the capital city of Kanagawa Prefecture. It lies on Tokyo Bay, south of Tokyo, in the Kanto region of the main island of Honshu. Yokohama developed rapidly as Japan's prominent port city following the end of Japan's relative isolation in the mid-19th century, and is today one of its major ports along with Kobe, Osaka, Nagoya, Hakata, Tokyo, and Chiba. Yokohama was a small fishing village up to the end of the feudal Edo-era, when Japan held a policy of national seclusion, having little contact with foreigners. A major turning point in Japanese history happened in 185354, when Commodore Matthew Perry arrived just south of Yokohama with a fleet of American warships, demanding that Japan open several ports for commerce, and the Tokugawa shogunate agreed by signing the Treaty of Peace and Amity.

Hyo-chan' is a soy sauce container that comes with Kiyoken's shiumai (shumai). It is made of ceramic (Seto-yaki). There is a China town in Yokohama. A shumai is a Chinese-style steamed dumpling. Some Chinese people say that Japanese shumai are far different from "genuine" Chinese ones. Fortunately, Kiyoken's shumai are much smaller and tastier than genuine ones. Some people collect Hyo-chan. Old Hyo-chan seem to be real collector's items. Somehow, kiyoken called it shiumai istead shumai.