© Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Archaeology
Awaji Island turned out many salt-producing vessels from the Tumulus period (late third century to early seventh century). It is said Moshio began when ash from baking seaweed was used. Long before salt was made in salt pans, the main method for salt production in Japan was to pour seawater over layers of seaweed and ash and then boil and reduce the concentrated seawater.
© AWAJISHIMA MUSEUM
Scenes of Moshio-yaki, in which seaweed is laid on the shore to dry in the sun, are depicted in the Man'yoshu, the oldest extant collection of Japanese poetry, which dates from between the seventh and eighth centuries. One poem, by Kasa no Kanamura, states, “We harvest jeweled seaweed in a calm dawn / and turn it to salt in the tranquil evening” (MYS 935, 726 AD). Moshio has carried on its poetic and traditional salt-making for centuries and is indeed the origin of salt production in Japan.
Moshio is not pure white, like refined salt, but a pale beige, proof of our salt’s containing abundant seaweed minerals like iodine, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Relatively low in salinity, Moshio has a mild taste and rich umami.