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‘Wagashi,’ the edible art, can fight the rainy season blues

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This is the time of year when traditional “wagashi” Japanese confections, exquisitely designed to represent hydrangeas, loquats and fireflies, grace storefront display windows. Just looking at these works of edible art brings relief from the muggy heat of early summer.

Toraya, a long-established wagashi maker headquartered in Tokyo’s Akasaka district, keeps historical records and reference materials at Toraya Bunko (Archives).

Kanayo Tokoro, 34, a researcher there, explained that the wagashi culture blossomed all at once toward the end of the 17th century--specifically during the Genroku Era (1688-1704). Originating in Kyoto, this was a highly sophisticated culture that sought to use confections as a........

© The Asahi Shimbun