Skip to content

Chuushichi Meshi (忠七めし): Zen Rice Dish

Jump to Recipe

Chuushichi Meshi (忠七めし) is a local rice dish from Saitama Prefecture (Kanto Region).

The dish was invented over 140 years ago, and is one of Japan’s “Five Great Rice Dishes” or “Five Great Meals” (日本五大銘飯).

The dish is named after the chef who invented the dish Yagi Chuusichi (八木忠七). It was given the name by a famous samurai called Yamaoka Tesshu (山岡 鉄舟).

“Meshi”(めし) simply means meal or rice in Japanese.

Read on for more interesting info about chuushichi meshi:


chuushichi meshi 1

The main ingredients of Chuushichi Meshi are:

  • Rice
  • Wasabi
  • Yuzu
  • Nori
  • Green onion
  • Dashi

Chuushichi Meshi is a very simple dish consisting of the few main ingredients listed above. The toppings are simply layered on top of a bowl of rice; dashi stock is then poured over everything before being eaten (similar to ochazuke).

The three ingredients of wasabi, nori, and yuzu represent the three arts of “sword, zen, and calligraphy”.

Master Tesshu (i.e. the famous samurai who named the dish) was known for these three arts.

Chuushimeshi is also typically served alongside various pickled vegetables.

Location / Where to eat

kappo ryokan futaba
Kappo Ryokan Futaba (割烹旅館 二葉), origin of chuushichi meshi

Chuushichi Meshi is only found in Ogawa Town, Saitama Prefecture.

The original restaurant where it was created is still operating and serving its famous dish. The restaurant is called Kappo Ryokan Futaba (割烹旅館二葉 – Google Maps link).

Read more about its interesting history below:

History / Origin of Chuushichi Meshi

yamaoka tesshu
Yamaoka Tesshu, the samurai that inspired chuushichi meshi

The dish was created in the mid-late 1800s as a result of an encounter between a famous samurai master named Yamaoka Tesshu and the owner/chef of Futaba Ryokan named Chuushichi Yagi.

Tesshu was famous throughout Japan for his mastery of the three arts of “swordsmanship, zen, and calligraphy”.

He would often visit Yagi’s restaurant when returning home to see his father in Ogawa Town. On one visit, he suggested to Yagi that he should add more “zen” to his cooking.

Yagi took this to heart, and created a dish featuring the following three ingredients:

  • Wasabi: represents swordsmanship due to its sharp taste and tingling sensation
  • Nori (i.e. dried seaweed): represents “zen” because of its light and delicate taste
  • Yuzu: the fragrance represents the spirit of calligraphy

Tesshu was so satisfied with the dish that he named it after the chef…hence the name “Chuushichi Meshi”.

The original restaurant is still in operation today. If you happen to be in Ogawa Town, make sure you check it out (Google Maps link).

How to Make Chuushichi Meshi

Chuushichi Meshi is not a typical dish made at home. It is not even a typical dish found in restaurants, as there is basically one place in all of Japan to try it (i.e. Kappo Ryokan Futaba).

That being said, if you have no chance of ever going to Ogawa Town, and want to experience what it might taste like, here is a basic recipe I found via a Japanese blogger (as_cooking)

Chuushichi Meshi Recipe (忠七めし)

Course: MainCuisine: JapaneseDifficulty: Easy


Cooking time



Basic Chuushichi recipe and images via as_cooking (in Japanese)


  • Cooked rice … 1 bowl

  • Dashi (bonito and kelp) – make it yourself or buy instant … 1/2 bowl

  • Long green onions (white part) … 1 piece

  • Yuzu peel … 1/4 piece

  • Wasabi … a bit

  • Nori (i.e. dried seaweed) … 1 sheet


  • Slice the white stem of green onion into super thin pieces, and soak in cold/ice water for 10 minutes (i.e. shira-negi cutting technique)chuushichi recipe 1
  • Cut the yuzu peel into small stripschuushichi recipe 2
  • Tear the nori into small pieces and layer over a bowl of warm ricechuushichi recipe 3
  • Put the yuzu peel, green onion, and dab of wasabi in the middle of the bowl, on top of the seaweed
  • Pour some hot dashi over everythingchuushichi recipe
  • Enjoy!


  • Chuushichi meshi is typically paired with pickled vegetables as a side dish.

Fun Facts about Chuushichi Meshi

chuushichi meshi 2
  • The original restaurant that created Chuushichi Meshi has been operating since 1748 (275 years ago!)
  • Chuushichi Meshi is one of Japan’s “Five Great Rice Dishes”. The other four include: Fukagawa-meshi (Tokyo); Sayori-meshi (Gifu); Kayaku-meshi (Osaka); and Uzume-meshi (Shimane Prefecture)


Have you ever tried chuushichi meshi before? What did you think of it?

Leave your thoughts and comments below!

Chef Goku

Chef Goku

Chef Goku is the founder and sole operator of The Chef Dojo. He loves Japanese food, and has lived in and out of Japan for many years. He started this blog in 2018 to share everything he learns about Japanese food and cooking. He is also a self-certified Japanese knife nerd. Contact Chef Goku

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *