Pretty Japanese confections bring you good fortune!
Is your lucky item Mt. Fuji, a falcon, or an eggplant? These traditional confections are fun to look at and bring good fortune for the new year.
"Kayuan," located on B2F of Ginza Mitsukoshi
In Japan, homes are decorated with charms to bring good fortunate throughout the new year. Sometimes these charms are even edible! "Kayuan," located on B2F of Ginza Mitsukoshi, sells a variety of traditional Japanese confections created with the motif of these charms.
It is said in Japan that you will have good fortune if you see Mt. Fuji, a falcon, or an eggplant in your first dream of the new year, in order of auspiciousness. There are several theories of why this is, but it is said that Fuji sounds like the Japanese word for "safety" (buji), which falcon (taka) is similar to "high" (takai) and the word for eggplant (nasu) forms part of the phrase for "accomplishment" (koto wo nasu).
Soy sauce rice crackers made in the shape of Mt. Fuji--said to be the most auspicious dream to have, and well-known as a symbol of Japan. The "snow" on the summit of the mountain is made from slightly sweet white sugar.
Four flavors are used to represent spring, summer, autumn, and winter: matcha powder sugar, pepper, red pepper, and white sugar. These are perfect for enjoying and comparing with your friends or family!
You can find confections based on eggplants--the third most auspicious thing you can see in your first dream of the new year. "Hatsunasubi" are created by sugaring whole bite-sized Minden eggplants. These treats are created at the Omatsuya main store, which was founded in 1907 in Yamagata. It's said that vegetables were sugared in this way, because there were few types of fruits in Japan long ago.
Japan also makes use of the oriental zodiac, where each year is represented by one of 12 animals. The oriental zodiac originally came from China, and it included not only the year but direction and time. Nowadays, Japanese families decorate their homes with decorations showing the new year's zodiac animal and send out new year's cards to greet the new year.
The animal for 2016 is the monkey. Japanese people are very familiar with monkeys, as the animals often appear in their folklore and proverbs. As a zodiac animal, monkeys are very auspicious and are said to be helpful in protecting us from evil spirits and bringing good fortune to marriages.
These traditional Japanese hard candies feature monkey designs. Creating these candies requires much skill from the artisan. The candies are created by bundling several multicolored rice sugar sticks together, and must show the same pattern no matter where they are cut. Although these candies are actually called "kumiame" the most well-known type features the face of Kintaro, a character from a Japanese fairy-tale. Therefore, kintaroame has become a general purpose word used to refer to all kumiame.
These zodiac monkey hard candies are created by "Kintaroamehonpo," the shop that first created the "kintaroame" hard candies, and are available only at Mitsukoshi Isetan. They are created most auspiciously--each monkey has a different expression, and even patterns for Mt. Fuji, falcons, and eggplants are added. They're so cute you'll have trouble deciding which one to eat first!
"Kayuan" offers a wide selection of delicious, adorable, and auspicious traditional confections. We invite you to select a present for your special someone, full of wishes for a good new year.