Mibuna 壬生菜

Mibuna 壬生菜 is one of Kyoto’s designated traditional vegetables called kyo-yasai, which feature in Kyoto’s unique culinary genres such as obanzai style cooking. It is a mustard green, that is a naturally occurring hybrid of mizuna, with a delicate flavour . Mibuna is at its peak in the middle of May. The name means a “herb that comes from Mibu,” which is an area in Kyoto city surrounding Mibu-dera, a 1000-year-old temple that is famous for its Kyogen (comic Japanese drama). Recently there has been a great revival of interest in Mibu because of the popularity of a TV series Shinsengumi about a special police force that was formed there in 1863. Nowadays, mibuna is mainly produced by small family-based farmers in Hiyoshi village, just north of Nantan city in Kyoto prefecture.