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Hotaru wagashi.jpg
Hotaru (firefly) wagashi
Place of origin Japan
Type Confectionery
A selection of wagashi to be served during a Japanese tea ceremony
A plate of six wagashi
Wagashi served with matcha tea

Wagashi (和菓子 wa-gashi?) are traditional Japanese confections that are often served with tea, especially the types made of mochi, anko (azuki bean paste), and fruits. Wagashi are typically made from plant ingredients.[1]


In Japan the word for sweets, kashi (菓子?), originally referred to fruits and nuts.[2] China learned from India how to produce sugar and began trading it to Japan.[2] The trade increased and sugar became a common seasoning by the end of the Muromachi period.[2] Influenced by the introduction of tea and China's confectionery and dim sum, the creation of wagashi took off during the Edo period in Japan.[2]


  • Anmitsu: chilled gelatinous cubes (kanten) with fruit
  • Amanattō: simmered azuki beans or other beans with sugar, and dried - amanattō and nattō are not related, although the names are similar.
  • Botamochi: a sweet rice ball wrapped with anko (or an, thick azuki bean paste)
  • Daifuku: general term for mochi (pounded sweet rice) stuffed with anko
  • Dango: a small, sticky, sweet mochi, commonly skewered on a stick
  • Dorayaki: a round, flat sweet consisting of castella wrapped around anko
  • Hanabiramochi: a flat, red and white, sweet mochi wrapped around anko and a strip of candied gobo (burdock)
  • Ikinari dango: a steamed bun with a chunk of sweet potato and anko in the center, it is a local confectionery in Kumamoto.
  • Imagawayaki (also kaitenyaki): anko surrounded in a disc of fried dough covering
  • Kusa mochi: "grass" mochi, a sweet mochi infused with Japanese mugwort (yomogi), surrounding a center of anko
  • Kuzumochi
  • Kuri kinton: a sweetened mixture of boiled and mashed chestnuts
  • Manjū: steamed cakes of an surrounded by a flour mixture, available in many shapes such as peaches, rabbits, and matsutake (松茸) mushrooms
  • Mochi: a rice cake made of glutinous rice
  • Monaka: a center of anko sandwiched between two delicate and crispy sweet rice crackers
  • Oshiruko (also zenzai): a hot dessert made from anko in a liquid, soup form, with small mochi floating in it
  • Rakugan: a small, very solid and sweet cake which is made of rice flour and mizuame
  • Sakuramochi: a rice cake filled with anko and wrapped in a pickled cherry leaf
  • Taiyaki: like a kaitenyaki, a core of anko surrounded by a fried dough covering, but shaped like a fish
  • Uirō: a steamed cake made of rice flour and sugar, similar to mochi
  • Warabimochi: traditionally made from warabi and served with kinako and kuromitsu
  • Yatsuhashi: thin sheets of gyūhi (sweetened mochi), available in different flavors, like cinnamon, and occasionally folded in a triangle around a ball of red anko
  • Yōkan: one of the oldest wagashi, a solid block of anko, hardened with agar and additional sugar
  • Akumaki: one of the confections of Kagoshima Prefecture


Wagashi are classified according to the production method and moisture content. Moisture content is very important, since it affects shelf life.

  • Namagashi (生菓子?) (wet confectionery)—contains 30% or more moisture
    • Jō namagashi (上生菓子?) is a very soft and delicate, seasonally varying namagashi, in various, often elaborate, shapes and colors, often reflecting seasonal plants. Some stores will have many dozens over the course of a year.[3]
    • Mochi mono (もち物?)
    • Mushi mono (蒸し物?)
    • Yaki mono (焼き物?)
      • Hiranabe mono (平なべ物?)
      • Ōbun mono (オーブン物?)
    • Nagashi mono (流し物?)
    • Neri mono (練り物?)
    • Age mono (揚げ物?)
  • Han namagashi (半生菓子?) (half-wet confectionery)—contains 10%–30% moisture
    • An mono (あん物?)
    • Oka mono (おか物?)
    • Yaki mono (焼き物?)
      • Hiranabe mono (平なべ物?)
      • Ōbun mono (オーブン物?)
    • Nagashi mono (流し物?)
    • Neri mono (練り物?)
  • Higashi (干菓子?) (dry confectionery)—contains 10% or less moisture
    • Uchi mono (打ち物?)
    • Oshi mono (押し物?)
    • Kake mono (掛け物?)
    • Yaki mono (焼き物?)
    • Ame mono (あめ物?)

See also


  1. Gordenker, Alice, "So What the Heck is That?: Wagashi", Japan Times, 20 January 2011, p. 11.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Ashkenazi, Michael (2000). The Essence of Japanese Cuisine: An Essay on Food and Culture. University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 106–107. ISBN 9780812235661. Retrieved Jan 30, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Japanese Confectionery Gratifies the Eyes and the Palate Aichi Voice Issue 7, 1997
  • Aoki, Naomi (October 2000). 図説 和菓子の今昔 Zusetsu wagashi no konjyaku. 株式会社淡交社 Tankosha Publishing Co.,Ltd. ISBN 978-4-473-01762-8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links