Yawata-uma horse figurines
The Yawata-uma horse figurine is a traditional local toy with a history of over 700 years. It is said that the wooden horses were originally made by farmers in the off-season to be sold as souvenirs of the Kushihiki Hachiman-gu Shrine annual festival, and became known as “Yawata-uma”. (“Yawata” is another reading of “Hachiman”.)
The gorgeous patterns painted on the wooden horses reflected the way real horses were traditionally adorned for rural weddings in the region. Yawata-uma are one of Japan’s “migoma” or three wooden horses, and as they bring good luck, they are often given as mementos of celebrations such as weddings and new buildings.
Nanbu sakiori-style rag weaving
Nanbu sakiori-style rag weaving uses torn strips of old cloth and well-worn kimonos as the weft, with the warp composed of four colors of hemp or cotton yarn. Sakiori grew from the desire to reuse cotton, which was rare and precious in the Hachinohe area, in beautiful designs.
You can try sakiori for yourself at Youtree in front of Hachinohe Station.
Nanbu hishizashi diamond-stitch embroidery
Nanbu hishizashi is the traditional embroidery from the rural areas of Hachinohe. It gets its name from the diamond-shaped (“hishi”) pattern of the stitches, which add insulation and strength to fabrics. This art, requiring patience to sew the thread one stitch at a time, was born from the traditional life style.
You can try hishizashi for yourself at Youtree in front of Hachinohe Station.
Nanbu senbei rice crackers
Flour and water are kneaded together, salt is added, and the mixture is baked in an iron mold. Often eaten as a snack in Hachinohe, senbei comes in a variety of flavors including sesame, peanut and butter.
There are several theories as to its origin. The most generally known comes from the period of the Northern and Southern Courts, when Emperor Chokei visited the Hachinohe region. It is said that the Emperor ran into food troubles, so his retainers acquired some buckwheat flour and sesame seeds from farmers and then baked and served the senbei in their own helmets. Other theories are that senbei was eaten by Nejo-Nanbu soldiers on the battlefield, and that Jesus Christ, after being spared execution, made his way to this land and made them to look like bread.
Column「Many ways to eat senbei (send various photos)」
When people think of Nanbu senbei they think of its crispiness, but the appeal of tenbo senbei is their soft, puffy texture and the simple, slightly salty taste. There is even a “senbei cafe” where you can taste how well coffee goes with tenbo senbei.
Okawa senbei (Kobirikko)
Okawa senbei is a sandwich of freshly-cooked rice with red beans between two Nanbu senbei crackers. Also called "Kobirikko", it was mainly eaten as a snack between jobs on the farm. Okawa senbei is available for purchase at the Nango Rest Area.
The "ears" are the parts that stick out of the molds when baking Nanbu senbei. These long, salty slivers of rice cracker make great bar snacks and they oten sell out before the Nanbu senbei themselves.
Flour (Nanbu senbei) with flour (batter)?! The perfect combination of moist senbei with crispy batter is a delicacy unique to Hachinohe. You can try it at locations such as the Mutsuminato Station and Tatehana Wharf Morning Markets.
If flour is an ingredient in both Nanbu senbei and pizza, shouldn’t pizza toppings go well on Nanbu senbei? You simply must try the new sensation of hot melted cheese on Nanbu senbei. Nanbu senbei pizza is available at shops in the Yokocho area and other places.