Dry goods stores

Kidai Shoran (detail) © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Museum für Asiatische Kunst (Asian Art Museum, National Museums in Berlin), former collection of Hans-Joachim and Inge Küster, gift of Manfred Bohms 2002, photography: Tadao Kodaira

Dried seaweed, seafood, and vegetables were valuable preserved foods. Kombu (kelp) and bonito were widely available during the Edo period, and it was in Edo that bonito became a popular ingredient for dashi. Many long-established dry goods stores line the streets of Nihonbashi, including Yamatoya and Yagicho Honten. Ninben, which still operates in Nihonbashi’s Muromachi district, gained a reputation for its new business practices and contributed greatly to the widespread popularity of dried bonito.