Japanese Language Blog

Japanese Dried Confectionary Posted by on Aug 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

Higashi (干菓子) is a broad term for Japanese confectionary that is dry and sweet tasting. One of the confectionary items that fall under Higashi is Hanakazura (花かずら) is a type of confectionary that is usually cut into rectangular blocks with sweet bean paste on the inside. The sweet bean paste is not very gooey and the outside is made of sugar. The most common filling is sweet bean, but recently I’ve seen a coffee bean version and a sweet soybean version of this kind of confectionary.

Nininsuzuka (二人静) is similar the vanilla wafers that the Nabisco company makes, but is softer. Nininsuka can come in various colors, but the most common colors are white and pink. They are usually wrapped in a type of paper foil that looks a lot like a candy wrapper. Nininsuzuka is a wonderful, sweet snack to have at tea ceremonies. They also don’t rot easily when left opened because they contain very little moisture.


Shigure no Matsu (時雨の松) is typically green colored and cylindrical in shape. They are soft and are sometimes coated with a sweet, white flour powder. Due to the dry nature of this confectionary, they are sometimes semi crumbly in texture. Shigure no Matsu looks similar to how a green bamboo stalk would look. Due to the fact that this confectionary looks traditional, it’s often served at traditional tea parties events.


Rakugan (落雁) is the most well known confectionary among the many different types of higashi. Rakugan is a type of confectionary that contains rice flour, starch and sugar. Rakugan come in many colors and designs. The really expensive kind of rakugan is made from wasanbon (和三盆), which is a kind of high quality, fine-grained sugar made from the sugarcane plants of Shikoku (四国). The rakugan made from wasanbon is sometimes given as gifts to guests.

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