One of the food culture that Japan is the proudest of is the Wasabi. The wasabi is used in Soba and Sushi and is a must in almost every Japanese dish. The history of wasabi is long and has been used since the ancient times. In this article, we would like to introduce the history of wasabi.

What is a Wasabi?

Wasabi is the Perennial Plant of the Brassicaceae and it grows in the shallow part of a very clear river. You grate the rhizome and is a spice Japanese mainly use in sushi and soba. It has an exciting taste and gives a strong spicy kick to your nose. In Japanese variety programs, the wasabi is used as punishment in games.

Learn the History of Wasabi?

  • Asuka Period

In Nara Prefecture Asuka Town,they found a book from the remains of Sonochi about the Wasabi called the「委佐俾三升(Wasabi Sansho)」. From this, they found out that wasabi may have been regularly used as vegetable and medicinal plant.

  • Heian Period

In one of the oldest herb dictionary in Japan called the 「本草和名(Honsowamyou)」, information’s about the wasabi was written. It was stated in the book that it was used as a medical plant. Also, according to a ritsuryo collection called the 「延喜式 Enkishiki」, the wasabi was written as「山薑(Yamahajikami)」, and was used as a payment for tax.


  • Muromachi Period

In the「四条流庖丁書 Shijoryuu Houchousho」, it was written that wasabi was commonly eaten with sashimi which is similar to how the Japanese use it as a spice for sushi and sashimi today.

Wasabi Soba

  • Edo Period

Tokugawa Ieyasu loved wasabi dearly that he wanted to avoid its cultivation techniques to spread in other nations. After that, ever since the soba noodles and sushi were eaten by people, wasabi also became a common spice to the citizens of Japan.


  • Showa Period

An authentic wasabi is first dried and the milled wasabi will turn into Powdered Wasabi. Moreover, in the year 48th of Showa, a raw grated wasabi made from an authentic wasabi was made.


  • Today

Today, Wasabi is not only used in Sushi and Soba Noodles but also in meat and western cuisines. Moreover, wasabi is also used for beauty and health purposes.


The wasabi has a long history and we can learn how versatile it is. Wasabi has many uses and positive effects. Why not try its effective uses?