To prevent the propagation of bacteria, fish were dried in the sun for long time. This was usual before. But the flavor went away and the taste was not good. Actually, I didn’t like Himono when I was a kid. So recently, drying overnight or such quick-dry methods are the trend, called "Ichiyaboshi" (overnight dry). Ichiyaboshi is soft, and rich taste of "UMAMI", very yummy. Not only yummy, it’s good for health too. Like Natto can be nutrient-rich more than the original soybean, himono is also nutrient-rich more than raw fish. We say "Umami ga gyoushuku" which means "condensation of UMAMI" after evaporation of water. Aside from Ichiyaboshi, there are Choumiboshi (soak fish in dressing before drying), the super smelly fish Kusaya is one of this kind; Yakiboshi (roast before drying); Koriboshi(freezing and drying); Maruboshi (soak in salt water before drying) etc.
I did not like Himono before and I had a poor image of it as just stockfood. But Himono is a labor-intensive product and actually good Himono is very expensive. This is an online Himono shop. Hmmm, good price.
Because of the health boom and slow food boom, Himono Izakaya was a topic last year. Such Izakaya tend to serve rice cooked "Ginshari" by hearth or earthen pot like this. (The taste is so different from rice cooked in an electric rice cooker.) Fish, a bowl of rice and miso soup — these are "Japanese soul food." That’s what I thought. The peak is over and I found some shops were closed already. But I hope Himono Izakaya is over as a trend or the usual food fads like this and this.
Anyway, when I was kid, I really wanted to taste the food of a traveler — "a piece of bread, wine in deer skin bag and cheese" — in a foreign fairy story. It sounded very delicious to me and I did not have any interest in rice balls in Japanese stories.