Sakubei (a kind of Chinese sweet) (索餅)

Sakubei is a one kind of "togashi" (literally 'Chinese sweet'), which were introduced to Japan from ancient China, and is also said to be the origin of somen noodles. It is also called "muginawa" (literally 'wheat rope') due to its rope-like appearance.

Flour and powdered rice were kneaded with salt and water, and the dough was then formed into rope-like shapes and dried. It seems to have been eaten by being boiled and served with sho (the original form of soy sauce), misho (the original form of miso soybean paste), vinegar, etc. Sakubei gained popularity when the custom among the general public of making pounded wheat cakes during the wheat harvest was introduced to the Imperial Court. In the Imperial Court, sakubei was made in the Naizenshi (Imperial Table Office) and served to the Emperor, and was also served to retainers during sumai no sechie (ritual performances of sumo at the Imperial Court) and the Tanabata festival to ward off evil. It was also sold in the markets of Heian-kyo (the ancient name for Kyoto).

[Original Japanese]