Japanese customs – Japanese confectioneries (wagashi)

Wagashi is an art of collaboration among the five senses, it appeals to the sense of sight in order to present the natural of the world through delicate ingredients and techniques. Apart from wide range of the materials and ingreidents, and countless changes of techniques, even naming different wagashi is another important step in the wagashi world.
Wagashi developed its hisotry and kinds over thousand years. Here we would like to introduce you some kinds in representitives. Wagashi has separates into 3 classifications based on its water content such as Namagashi, Hannamagashi and Higashi.
生菓子 Namagashi
Namagashi(なまがし)in other word is wet confectionery, which contains more moisture. The main ingredient mostly is azuki beans. Different confectioneries making techniques are shown below.
1.糯米甜品 Mochi mono
Based on glutinous rice and grained rice to be main ingredients. The representitive confectionery is Daifuku and Sakuramochi. The characteristic is the size usually bigger, and general term for sticky rice filled with red bean paste. This kind of wagashi is one of the oldest kind and used to be salty in the past.


2.蒸製甜品 Mushi mono
This is steamed confectioneries. Representative confectionery is mushimanju and uirou(ういろう). More white sugar contains, and the texture is soft.

3.流し菓子 Nagashigashi
The term of less masticates, a confectionery just like drinking water. This kind of confectionery usually use agar as main ingredient, and it's a brilliant fiber of natural food. The representitive confectionery is mizu yōkan.

Mizu Yōkan
4.燒製甜品 Yakimono
The confectionery made in grilled by grill-pan or flat-pan, or use mould by pressing or rolling the ingreidents into shape. The representitive confectioneries are dorayaki and awamanju.

半生菓子 Hannamagashi
Hannamagashi (はんなまがし) is half wet confectionery. The water contains lesser than Namagashi and more than higashi.
After prepare the main ingreidents, the confectionery is made in a process together with other ingredients. The representitive confectionery is Kanoko. The mochi confectionery cover with adzuki beans, the confectionery named as it looks, just like the spots from the deers.

2.燒製甜品 Yakimono
The confectionery made in grilled by grill-pan or flat-pan, or use mould by pressing or rolling the ingreidents into shape. Same as Namagashi. The representitive confectioneries are momoyama and chatsuu.

幹菓子 Higashi
Higashi(ひがし)is dry confectionery which has low moisture lever, such as rice crackers and konpeito.

Above lists shown some representitive wagashi. Hope you understand and must try them while come to Japan. In addition, dry confectionery usually us allow to keep for a longer time, so also suitable be presents for family and friends.