Theses dishes you are about to eat were in danger of disappearing forever. This is why we founded our group, to make sure we can pass on our knowledge to a younger generation. It's not that they are particularly fancy, or special. It's just that the knowledge, like the ingredients themselves, needed preserving - Ryoku Kudo, founder of Akatsuki no Kai
We are in Hirosaki, Aomori. More precisely, we are in the nerve center of the Tsugaru Akatsuki no Kai, literally 'the Tsugaru Early Morning Sun Association', a group of splendidly energetic women, aged from 86 to 20, who formed to preserve and promote the traditional dishes and cooking skills of this region of Aomori. If you are a foodie and plant to visit Aomori, visit here.
I apologise now if the title of this article was slightly misleading, in that postwar Hollywood B-movie slightly risqué style, but I couldn't resist: the Akatsuki no Kai women are a hilarious, bunch, eminently teasable, and their propensity for bursting into laughter, and flirty conversation - especially the over-70 contingent - is infectious.
The name actually refers to the fact that the ladies are typically up before sunrise to start their preparations, and thus would be cooking beneath the light of an early morning sun.