In the only elevated area in Osaka lies a town called Karahori. Situated in the shopping district, an area mostly spared the ravages of air raids during WWII, is Konbu Doi. In the 300 years from the Edo period, Osaka food culture has been anchored in Konbu Dashi (stock). Fourth generation KONBU DOI proprietor, Junichi Doi says, “Osaka is basically the only place to have the Konbu Dashi trade”.
The culture of using Konbu in food, unseen around the world, is uniquely Japanese. Recently the overseas interest in Konbu has been increasing. But, according to Junichi Doi, the world class Osaka Konbu Dashi culture is standing at crossroads.
The existence of powdered dashi (stock) mostly made from chemical flavour enhancers is concerning for both fishermen and Konbu Dashi producers. Although not quite like actual Konbu Dashi, it is cheap and convenient, and the vast spread of use in society has them fearing that Japanese people will not inherit the taste of Konbu Dashi. Junichi Doi has taken over from his father the work of raising awareness and creating an uncompromising product. He is concentrating his efforts on the handing down of Osaka food culture.