Kiku no tsuyu (Chrysanthemum dew) - On September 9 is held the Chrysanthemum festival.On that day, Heian aristocrats used to gather dew from mums petals. This elixir was thought to bring longevity and was used in kisewata (cleaning rituals). [personnal translation]
Kosame giku (chrysanthemums in the rain) - Japanese has many word to describe the rain: nagaame is a long rain, samidare designates early summer showers, shigure means drizzle etc.Kosame (light rain) is an expression in use since the Heian period. Back then, aristocrats used to gather dew and raindrops from chrysanthemum, as a hope for purity and long life.This wagashi shows the regal beauty of a chrysanthemums garden under the rain. [personnal translation]
Kiku no ame (Chrysanthemum rain) - A tiny mum red buttonflower nestles in tender leaves.In Autumn, when it had quietly rained all day, we can feel that the blooming season of the elegant chrysanthemum will be here soon.[personnal translation]
Kajô Japanese Wagashi Association has quite recently revived an ancient festivity named Kajô. Every June 16th, there have been from at least Kajô era (hence the name) to Meiji era celebrations where sweets were given out. Offering 16 cakes was thought to ward of evil and plagues and bring good luck.
Suika (watermelon) - A fresh watermelon, a slice of summer! Framed by a clear green jelly, red bean paste with beans input represents this cold and juicy fruit, bringing to our minds summer parties and Suikawari games at the beach.[personnal translation]
Gekka no utage (Moonlight feast) - Tsukimi is an harvest festival held in September since the Heian era (this year, Tsukimi has been celebrated on September 8th). It celebrates the full autumn moon via moon viewing parties and feasts.Popular symbols used on this day are pampa grass and rabbits, which can be found on this cute wagashi. [personnal translation]
Sakura gata (Cherry blossom shaped) - A sakura blossom is pressed with a branding iron on a pentagon shaped cake - its angles looking like the flowers 5 petals. The faint pink hue, seen throught the rice paste, brings to our memory the scenery of spring hills covered in cherry blossoms. [personnal translation]
Wakana mochi (Youth greens cake) - On the 7th day after New Year, Japanese used to practice an exorcism ritual. They gathered wakana (young sprouts) to make a soup called atsumono.Today, this tradition is kept alive by cooking nanakusa gayu (rice cooked with seven herbs and plants). [personnal translation]