Kashiwamochi (柏餅)

Kashiwamochi is a Japanese confectionery made by doubling a flatly rounded rice cake, putting bean jam in the middle, and wrapping it in an oak leaf or a leaf of Smilacaceae. As for the varieties of bean jams, tsubuan (sweet bean jam), koshian (strained seet bean jam), and misoan (sweet bean jam with miso) are popular.

It is used as an altarage for the Boy's Festival on May 5th.
Since oak leaves do not fall until the shoots grow, it is seen as a sign of 'fertility and family prosperity (continuation of the family line).'

*It was originally born in the culture of eastern Japan, and kashiwamochi appeared during the time from the Tokugawa ninth Shogun, Ieshige TOKUGAWA to the tenth Shogun, Ieharu TOKUGAWA. Therefore, it is closely related to the samurai culture.

Kashiwamochi has such origin, but oak trees do not grow naturally in Osaka metropolitan district and to the west, such as the Shikoku region, so a leaf of Smilacaceae is mostly used as a substitute since Chimaki (a rice dumpling wrapped in bamboo leaves) has originally been used for the Boy's Festival. The name can be different depending on the region.

Unlike Sakuramochi (rice cake with bean paste wrapped in a salted cherry leaf), it is not common to eat the leaf around it. In order to save material cost, kashimamochi wrapped with a plastic sheet shaped like an oak leaf is sold as well as Sakuramochi in some regions.

In addition, the kanji '柏' (pronounced kashiwa) originally indicated conifer oriental arbor vitae (konotegashiwa) of the Cupressaceae, and it is completely different from the leaf used for kashiwamochi. For the fagaceous kashiwa used for kashiwamochi, it is correct to use the kanji '槲' to be exact.

[Original Japanese]