Shimikonnyaku (or shimi-konnyaku, commonly called Shimi-Kon) is a unique, naturally freeze-dried Japanese food, that can keep for 50 years when dry. It was developed as a form of preserved food in early Japan. Currently, there are only 3 producers of this product in the whole of Japan, all in Ibaraki prefecture. In the 1940s, there were more than 50 producers in Hitachi-Ota, the former Suifu-mura. As the years passed, it was produced less and less because of the difficult work and harsh climate in winter.