Togashi (唐菓子)

Togashi refers to a series of cakes and the technique used to make them that were introduced from Tang (China) in the Nara period. It is sometimes called Karakudamono.


Before the arrival of Togashi, there were no "cakes" in the current sense of the meaning in Japan, and the word for cakes was written as "果子," which meant fruit. The technique used to make Togashi was to fry wheat flour-based dough in sesame oil. Togashi has given a significant impact to Japan, and has become one of the roots of a Japanese sweet. Togashi was loved by nobles, and moreover offered to the gods or before the altar of temples. In the Heian period, some Togashi were particularly called the Eight Kinds of Togashi such as in the "Wamyo Ruijusho" (dictionary of Japanese names). However, the most of them were already forgotten at the end of the Kamakura period. On the other hand, some of them such as rice crackers have remained to date in a changed form.

Among existing ones, "Buto" produced in shrines is representative. In addition, Danki referred to as 'Seijokankidan' (Kameyakiyonaga) exists in Kyoto. It is dedicated to temples, and put on the market as a Japanese sweet. Here, such as manju, yokan, uiro (a cake), rakugan, geppei, ikkoko have been brought over from China. Because these have been brought over after the Kamakura period, these are not usually included in Togashi.

The Eight Kinds of Togashi

It is made by kneading rice flour with water and boiling it to mold into a plum branch shape, and then frying it in oil.

It is made in the same manner as Baishi to form into a peach branch shape.

It is made by kneading wheat flour to form into a 蝎虫 (considered as a scorpion or gribble) shape, and steaming or baking it. It is also called Kappei.

It is unknown in detail. It is said to be made by kneading glutinous rice flour mixed with cinnamon with water, boiling it to form into a biretta shape, and then frying it in oil.

It is made by kneading wheat flour to have a recess into a navel shape, and frying it in oil.

It is like a rice cracker that is made by forming power such as rice, foxtail millet, millet to be thin, and baking it.

It is made by rounding powder of rice into a bullet shape, and then boiling it.

It is made by kneading such as mung beans, powder of rice, steamed rice, a poppy, and a dry lotus flower, and then boiling it. It is also called Danki. Current Seijokankidan is made by wrapping azuki bean paste in the dough of wheat flour into a chakin (a cloth used in the tea ceremony) shape, and then frying in sesame oil.

Except the Eight Kinds

It is made by kneading wheat flour, and baking or frying it in oil. Current 'Buto manju' is a cake like a doughnut with bean paste that is made by wrapping bean paste with the doughnut-like dough of Buto mixed with the dough of Buto and egg.

It is closely similar to current Sakuramochi (Kansai style), and is said to be derived from Japan rather than from China.
It is made by wrapping a boiled egg such as a goose or duck seasoned in soy sauce, or vegetables in a rice cake. "Makura no Soshi" (The Pillow Book) has a description that FUJIWARA no Yukinari gave it to Seishonagon.

It is made by kneading wheat flour, knotting it like a cord, and frying it in oil. It is also called "Kakunoawa."

It is made by kneading wheat flour, and boiling it. This is said to be a model of current udon and fine white noodles.

It is made by kneading wheat flour or rice flour to be thin, and baking it with oil. It is the origin of a current rice cracker.

It is made by kneading wheat flour-based dough into the appropriate shape, and then frying it in oil.

It is also called Hoto. It is made by kneading wheat flour to be flat, and then cutting it in the same size. Toshi choja (head of the Fujiwara clan) always ate it at Kasuga-taisha Shrine in the late Heian period.

Fuzuku (粉熟)
It is also written "粉粥" in kanji (Chinese characters). To make this, grind rice, wheat, soy beans, azuki beans, sesame into powder, and knead it. Thereafter, boil it, pour amazura (traditional sweetner commonly used in the past) over it, pack it into a bamboo, push it out and cut it.

[Original Japanese]