Meaning: “The feeling of being down and out”
Green vegetables are quite vibrant when their leaves and stalks are moist and contain water, but sprinkling salt over the top of these vegetables will suck up the moisture and wither. This proverb is used to describe someone with a stricken heart and is downcast.
Keep in mind, though, this proverb does not refer to aona-tsuke, a local dish made in Yamagata Prefecture from green vegetables pickled in salt.
Don’t get confused and think that the people of Yamagata are down and out. That’s just not true.
Aona-tsuke is heavily pickled in salt, but tastes great. This dish is treasured by the people of Yamagata and has long been used a preserved food to be eaten during the ice cold winter. Instead of making you feel down and out, this dish is quite the opposite as it gives us vigor.
To prevent harmful rumors from spreading about aona-tsuke, I hope they come up with a disclaimer for the proverb that says “aona ni shio (except aona-tsuke).”