THE ASCETIC CUISINE OF THE THREE MOUNTAINS OF DEWA
Since ancient times, Buddhist shugendo ascetics have handed down vegan practices developed deep in the Three Mountains of Dewa. In order to survive the harsh winters of the mountains, the yamabushi (literally, “those who prostrate themselves on the mountain”) developed ways of preserving vegetables and herbs to last through the lean months. As a result, ascetic cuisine is sometimes referred to as “life-sustaining food.” These healthy, delicious, yet simple meals are created with ingredients gathered from the foot of the mountain, and are distinctive even within Buddhist cuisine. Consumed with gratitude for the blessings of nature, this spiritual food purifies both the body and the soul.