Sweet Potato and Aoki Kunyo #SweetPotatoFestival #MeguroFudo

On cold nights, it's nice to have a warm meal by eating Hokuhoku.
Although the number has decreased, you can see a baked potato shop that smells fragrant around the city.
Speaking of baked potatoes, sweet potatoes. The place name is the same as the name.
About 420 years ago, in the beginning of the Edo period, it was introduced to Japan through Ryukyu and cultivated for the first time in Bonotsu, Kagoshima Prefecture. There are various names in the early days, such as “Bansho” meaning Chinese camellia from an undeveloped country, “Kanshyo” meaning sweet potato, It was delicious, but it was called “Satsuma Hachiri” because it hit the “Guri” and “1” was missing. Since then, the Edo Shogunate distributed a lot of potato seeds called “Satsuma-don” as a salvage meal and encouraged cultivation, so the name “Sweet potato” became widely known throughout the country.
Kunyo Aoki (1698-1769), famous as a teacher of Kansho, explains the high nutritional value of this sweet potato and its ability to cultivate even in thin land, and encourages cultivation to the policy of the Shogunate. It is.

Did you know that his grave is behind Ryusenji, known as Meguro Fudo ? This tomb, which is surrounded by trees and lies quietly, is a nationally designated cultural asset (historic site).
What kind of person was Aoki Konyo? He was born in Edo Nihonbashi and loved learning from an early age. I went to Kyoto in 1719 and learned from the scholar Ito Togai. It is said that it was around this time that Kunyang knew about Gansho. After that, he returned to Edo and opened a private school. However, he was promoted to Taosuke Ooka, a magistrate of Edocho, and served the Shogunate.
In 1732 there was a great famine that caused many deaths. Kunyo has written a proposal book called “Bansho-ko” that allows kansho to grow well even in unsophisticated land, and submitted it to the Shogunate. did. This was taken up by Shogun Tokugawa Yoshimune and was ordered to make a candy candy. He immediately obtained a soy seed and began prototyping at Koishikawa Oyakuen (currently the Koishikawa Botanical Garden attached to the University of Tokyo in Bakukyo Ward). Although it failed once, it succeeded in obtaining good results for the second time. The grapes harvested here were distributed as seed varieties to various places, and the sweet potato cultivation was established. This achievement led him to be referred to as Kansho-sensei. The book “Kanshoki” is a cultivation instruction book for the common people.
Later, he worked on Dutch studies and wrote numerous titles, becoming a leading Dutch researcher. In his later years, he set up a villa near the current Otori Shrine. The existing tomb was built in the south of his home from the beginning of his life, who loved Meguro, a scenic spot that overlooks Mt. Fuji, and wrote himself as “Kansho-sensei Tomb” .
In Meguro, the “Kansho Festival” is held in honor of Kansho's virtues. Held every year on October 28th, sweet potatoes and flowers are offered in front of his grave. There are many stalls in the precincts, such as young women who walk around the university potatoes and sweet potato sweets. This “Gansho Festival” was previously held on October 12th, the date of death of Kansho, but since the end of the war, it has been held on the 28th in line with the Meguro Fudo Festival. .
In the precincts, there is also a Tokuhi monument (a monument engraved with texts that praise virtues such as great men) built by an association of candy wholesalers.