A 231-year old Japanese restaurant that served diners in the days of the Samurai has shut down due to the pandemic


Pandemics have occurred in the past, annihilated businesses and several developments, and taken a toll even back then. However, the COVID-19 pandemic was worse as it struck a very well developed and thriving, technologically advanced planet. It claimed several lives and didn’t leave a vast portion of the living with much either. Businesses, jobs, livelihood, and education everything took a setback. Establishments that have stood the test of time and witnessed history and time as passersby also knelt and took their last breaths. Kawajin, a restaurant in Tokyo’s historic Shibamata district, has been serving diners for 231 years. It was founded in 1790, during the Edo period (1603-1868), and is one of Japan’s oldest restaurants that served samurai clans and lords. The coronavirus outbreak forced people into their homes, and for a very long time, crowds didn’t return to restaurants forcing many like Kawajin to shut up shop. The restaurant that was an iconic eatery for over 2 centuries saw many famous people of Japan come and relish its offerings. Japanese writers Natsume Soseki and Seicho Matsumoto even mentioned the restaurant by name in the 1912 novel, To the Spring Equinox and the 1962 novel Kaze no Shisen. Not just the literary world, Kawajin was a star in its own right that made an appearance in Japanese film series commonly known as “Tora-san” after the name of its leading character, which ran from 1969-1995.


Kawajin was a long-standing restaurant that served authentic and delectable Japanese food, and its closure has many questioning the future of Japanese food culture. Among its wide variety, the dishes that stood out were carp and eel dishes like kabayaki (served since the 18th century), butterflied eel with a sweet sauce served on a bed of rice in a rectangular box, and many freshwater fish delicacies. The eighth-generation president of the restaurant, Kazuki Amamiya, “It’s a pity that I couldn’t keep the baton going from the previous generation; it ended with my generation.” The historic restaurant Kawajin will close its doors for good on 31 January.

[Via: Sora News24]

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