“Salt fields at Mita”, c. 1940.

1940sCommerceOutside Tokyo
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“Salt fields at Mita”, c. 1940.

“In the morning, the smoke from the salt pans, now hanging low across the beach, can still be seen.

“Almost the entire salt supply of Japan is obtained by the evaporation of saltwater; and here at Mitajiri are hundreds of sea-salt gardens — nothing more than a layer of coarse sand, mixed with clay, thick enough to make it difficult for water to percolate through. The sea water is pumped into ditches, surrounding these sand beds, from which it soaks in and by attraction slowly reaches the surface where the sun, drinking up the water, leaves the salt crystals mingled with the sand.

“Tons upon tons are necessary in the preparation of the cured and pickled food which plays so conspicuous a part in Japanese kitchens; though comparatively little is used in ordinary cooking and it never appears on the dining table as we are accustomed to see it.”

Motor Days in Japan, by Trowbridge Hall, 1917

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