Hashikami’s Wase Soba is a variety of buckwheat that has been the go-to for making soba noodles in Aomori since the Taisho period (1912 – 1926). What makes the variety so popular is that its flour produces a noodle with robust, full flavor and great texture.
Grown in Hashikami, Made in Hashikami, & Eaten in Hashikami is a motto proudly used by the people of the area to express their love for this cornerstone of their community. From seed to plant, plant to flour, and finally flour to noodle, the people of the town carefully and meticulously tend to the buckwheat at every stage of its processing.
The Wase variety of buckwheat came to prominence within the prefecture in 1913. In the Tohoku area of Japan, there are cool winds that blow during the summer which have long had a detrimental influence on agriculture in the area. These winds, called yamase winds, often stunted crop growth and famine was a common occurrence. During 1913, crops began to fail in the prefecture due to the yamase winds. But the people of Hashikami were able to harvest a good yield of Wase buckwheat, which was more resilient to cold weather. The buckwheat thus saved many people from starvation and the plant has played an integral role in the community ever since.
The seeds of the Hashikami’s Wase buckwheat were eventually sent to the Aomori Prefectural Agricultural Research Center. After testing and verifying its exceptional potential for cultivation, it was officially given the name ‘Hashikami Wase Soba’ in 1918.