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Miso soup is now a globally known Japanese side dish that has long been cherished in Japanese households. Miso has traditionally been an essential spice used to serve Japanese cuisine and it is well recognized as a nutritious, fermented soybean food.

It is known that miso originates from the ancient Chinese paste “hishio,” a paste similar to miso that is made from koji mold and saltwater. Miso was considered a luxury item during the Heian period and it wasn’t used as a spice but rather as a topping or a side dish.

Miso soup was introduced during the Kamakura period, as earthenware mortar was brought from China, and as people began to grind tsubu-miso, which was soluble in water. As the production of soybeans increased in the Muromachi period, many miso dishes were made, which spread among Japanese households. Dishes using miso were further developed during the Edo period as its demand continuously increased and miso began to be sold in plastic containers since the Showa period. Since then, miso soup has helped many of the busy households, as instant miso soups that are easy to make and cheap became available.

Miso soup and Japanese have been strongly connected for a few centuries, and it is still now a side dish representing Japanese cuisine. Wooden vessels such as Meibokuwan or Appi bowls may well suit to serve miso soup as the heartwarming appearance and smooth texture enhance the taste of the soup while providing the users with comfort.

Sonobe Sangyo’s Meibokuwan
Appi Urushi Studio’s Owan