Uméboshi 梅干し and aka-jiso leaves
After many weeks of bathing submerged in salty-sour, rosy-colored umézu this year’s plums are ready to be air-dried… the final stage of plum work (umé shigoto). What’s needed is a string of dry days, what’s known as umé no doyō-boshi 梅の土用干し. The plums and aka-jiso leaves are lifted from their umézu bath first thing in the morning and set out to dry.
I line several bamboo trays with coarsely woven linen cloth to insure good ventilation. At sundown the plums and leaves are returned to their umézu only to be lifted the following morning from their bath and aired again.
This dip-bathing at night and air-drying during the day is repeated for at least 3 consecutive days.