In Japanese, months are not referred to by name like in English (January), but by its position in the calendar year (1月, or "the first month"). Thus, when Bokksu members voiced their desire for a Kyushu (九州) box, I knew that I had to plan it for September (九月) as both the region and the month contain the number 9 (九)! My odd sense of humor and bad puns notwithstanding, I am delighted to present this month's theme:
Kyushu: The Nine States
The name Kyushu (literally “nine states”) is derived from the nine ancient provinces that formerly made up this majestic and lush region. In modern times, the island of Kyushu consists of seven prefectures: Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Nagasaki, Oita, Saga, Kagoshima, and Miyazaki. Because Kyushu is the most southwesterly island in Japan and geographically closer to continental Asia and Europe, it served as one of the earliest ports for Japan to trade and interact with the outside world. In addition to its historical significance, Kyushu contains subtropical climates that famously produce a wide variety of fresh agricultural products from rice and wheat to mangoes and sweet potatoes. We are thrilled to take you on a gourmet journey this month through the historic and beautiful Kyushu.