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dagashi


torakris
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In another thread Hiroyuki, when asked to start a thread on dagashi, said:

I will, but I have to overcome some mental difficulty first before starting this thread. You will never understand... Dagashi meant so much to us, those Japanese who were born in 30s of Showa (1955 to 1965). I was born in 1960... Those glory days of dagashi...

Hiroyuki try to overcome! I too, would love to learn more. Though I didn't grow up in Japan I also love dagashi!

There is a wonderful store in the Odaiba area of Tokyo called Edo-ya and all they sell is dagashi:

http://www.odaiba-decks.com/shop/shop04_03.html

The whole floor, called Daiba Ichome, is all set up like the 30's of Showa Japan:

http://www.odaiba-decks.com/ichome/

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Thank you very much, torakris, for starting this thread for me. The topic is still daunting to me especially because I have to start by precisely defining what dagashi are.

So much for today. I will contribute more to this thread, but only bit by bit.

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Okay, how about those sticks of fu glazed with kurozato.

My husband (born 1950) liked karinto (deep-fried strips of dough stirred around in a bubbling syrup glaze) but says that Hokkaido's cheaper dairy produce made cake quite popular there from early on, and he would never take karinto if cake was on offer...

(This is the guy who left the Sunday School choir in a fit of pique because the cookies ran out just before they got to him!)

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Ya... i'd like to know more about dagashi too... what does this differ from the normal okashi??

This is the guy who left the Sunday School choir in a fit of pique because the cookies ran out just before they got to him!

LOL... :biggrin:!

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Maybe Hiroyuki can help us out here, but I see the main difference in dagashi vs okashi is that the dagshi are the "original" okashi that started to become popular 40 years or so ago. They are often sold individually and at a very cheap price, often in the 10 to 50 yen range ($.10 ~ $.50).

I was just talking to my husband about dagashi and he said his favorite was bin-ramune:

http://www.rakuten.co.jp/hihohkan/413533/445405/

it is a cola bottle shaped monaka (wafer like thing) filled with a ramune flavored powder that you drink with the straw that is included, you then eat the monaka shell.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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The whole floor, called Daiba Ichome, is all set up like the 30's of Showa  Japan:

http://www.odaiba-decks.com/ichome/

the site at that link is so cheerful looking. i feel nostalgic for something i never experienced

found on a random page reference to <a href="http://shop.gnavi.co.jp/Mall2/155/100371.html">kimchi ramen nodon</a>; its attractive to me.... :raz:

a lot of these look rather curious... i dont quite have a feel for the size from some of the photos (i am sure the are small, but how small?). i wish i could see these dagashi in person. i keep adding to my list stuff that i must check out while in japan...

"Bibimbap shappdy wappdy wap." - Jinmyo
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i dont quite have a feel for the size from some of the photos (i am sure the are small, but how small?).  i wish i could see these dagashi in person.  i keep adding to my list stuff that i must check out while in japan...

Most of the dashi are quite small, just a one person snack size.

Are you planning a trip to Japan?.... :biggrin:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Before we discuss dagashi, I think it appropriate and necessary to make a clear distinction between traditional dagashi such as Sendai dagashi and much more modern ones.

Sendai dagashi:

http://www.kankou-miyagi.net/cgi-bin/ss_de...ntry=eng&ef=lst

http://www.foodkingdom-miyagi.jp/english/t...12/02_12_1.html

Traditional dagashi are so called to distinguish them from quality confections called jougashi 上菓子, which were made with an (bean jam) and white sugar. In the latter half of the Edo period, common people such as merchants became wealthy enough to buy jougashi, and the government prohibited them from using white sugar. Thus began the history of dagashi. They used brown sugar together with cereals such as wheat, millet, and rice crumbs to make what were later called dagashi (da pertaining to something inferior).

Edit to add more information:

Toward the end of the Edo period, sugar production increased, and in the Meiji period and after, shouga tou (ginger candies), konpei tou, and other sweets made with white sugar were degraded from quality confections to dagashi, while shio (salt) senbei, dorayaki, and others were upgraded from dagashi to quality confections.

From here:

http://www.ipc.shizuoka.ac.jp/~ehashin1/98...Com/dagasi.html

(Japanese only)

Edited by Hiroyuki (log)
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Wow Hiroyuki.. that was a very detailed explaination. Thanks for that!

You'll like those traditional dagashi if you like kurozatou.:biggrin:

***

The following is some of my findings from several sources:

The term dagashi was coined in the Meiji period. In the Edo period, dagashi were called ichi mon gashi, 一文菓子, (where mon refers to a monetary unit used in the Edo period), and were sold at ichi mon gashi ya (ichi mon gashi shops). Later (in the early Showa period according to one source), ichi mon gashi were called issen gashi, 一銭菓子, (where sen refers to a type of coin).

No matter how these traditional sweets are called, they are NOT the dagashi that became popular among children in the 30s of Showa, which I would like to discuss in my next post.

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You'll like those traditional dagashi if you like kurozatou.:biggrin:

I'm already drooling over them! :raz:

__________________________________________________________

Anyway, off topic here... but did the company "Meiji" get their name from the Meiji period or was it just coincidental?

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Anyway, off topic here... but did the company "Meiji" get their name from the Meiji period or was it just coincidental?

I don't think it was coincidental as the Meiji company was founded in 1916, which is the 5th year of the Taisho period which followed the Meiji period.....

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I don't think it was coincidental as the Meiji company was founded in 1916, which is the 5th year of the Taisho period which followed the Meiji period.....

Meiji Seika was named after Meiji Seito, which was probably (I'm not 100% sure) named after the Meiji period, so you could say that Meiji Seika was named after the Meiji period.

Detailed description:

Tokyo Gashi, founded in 1916 (5th year of Taisho), was the predecessor of Meiji Seika. In the following year, Tokyo Gashi merged with Taisho Seika, so that Meiji Seito (sugar manufacturer), run by the founder of Taisho Seika, became the major shareholder of Tokyo Gashi.

Because the place name 'Tokyo' became unfit due to the sales increase after the Great Kanto Earthquake (in 1923) and in order to make clear the ties with the Meiji Group, Tokyo Gashi was renamed to Meiji Seika in 1924 (13th year of Taisho).

From here:

http://www.meiji.co.jp/inquiry/kyakusou/other/other.html

(Japanese only)

But, now, let's forget about the Edo, Meiji, and Taisho periods, and go back to the 30s of Showa - the good old days for those Japanese who are now in their 40s!

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After the end of World War II, the number of dagashi ya (dagashi shops) continued to increase, and peaked in the 30s of Showa.

I finally came up with a definition of the dagashi in the 30s of Showa:

Dagashi refers to any of the kashi (candies, confections, snacks, sweets, etc.) in the price range of 1 to 10 yen that were sold at a dagashi ya (dagashi shop) and were bought by children under the age of twelve (elementary school pupils and younger children).

In urban areas in the 30s of Showa, there was at least one dagashi ya within walking distance of every child, and a dagashi ya was a place where only children would go.

I guess I better stop here before I get emotional.

Here is a link to a website listing dagashi.

http://homepage1.nifty.com/nekocame/60s70s...shi/dagashi.htm

(Japanese only)

I know most of you don't read Japanese, but just click any of the links given under 'index'. Which dagashi intrigue you?

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Hiroyuki,

Some of the stuff on the website you posted looks vaguely familiar. My grandma brought back a bag of stuff like that one of the times she went to visit her sisters in Kyoto when I was young. I remember chocolate cigarettes, which I thought were cool because we could only get sugar or bubble gum ones here.

Cheryl

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Some of the stuff on the website you posted looks vaguely familiar.

I'm glad that there are people like you who actually know what dagashi were. Cocoa cigarettes (not chololate cigarettes) were one of my favorites.

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I am a sumomo (sour plum) freak, my husband hinks I am one of the strangest foreigners he has ever met.....

Many of these are still available in stores now, my kids love th ramune, bubble gum and the kushi-katsu.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I am a sumomo (sour plum) freak, my husband hinks I am one of the strangest foreigners he has ever met.....

What amazes me the most is the very fact that your husband still calls you a foreigner (maybe gaijin). :biggrin:

I must admit that I was not a very big fan of sumomo. I was and still am an apricot dagashi lover.

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What amazes me the most is the very fact that your husband still calls you a foreigner (maybe gaijin). :biggrin:

I must admit that I was not a very big fan of sumomo.  I was and still am an apricot dagashi lover.

yeah, occasionally when I do or eat something he will jokingly say "hen-na gaijin" (weird/strange foreigner)......

what are the apricot dagashi?

I probably love apricots more than anything!

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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what are the apricot dagashi?

I probably love apricots more than anything!

I really liked the anzu ame (apricot candy), which was a sheet just like a stick of chewing gum, but much bigger, measuring about 10 cm by 3 cm (about 4 by 1 in inches). I once did an extensive google search for it, but did not come up with anything. Maybe the manufacturer discontinued it long ago.

Other apricot dagashi include

Mitsu anzu

http://www.carayoko.com/window/item/1227.html

Anzu bou

http://www.carayoko.com/window/item/1221.html

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