Thursday, January 05, 2006

kintaro ame

Have you ever seen this kind of candy? In Japan, it is called "Kintaro ame".

Kintaro (Golden Boy) is a folklore hero. Kintaro ame (candy) has been around since the Edo period.

It is made by layering different colored pieces of candy into a cylindrical face. If you have done crafts with polymer clay (FIMO), you'll know this as making a cane. Anyway, no matter how many times you slice it. The face will always appear. I got this as a gift when I went to buy something at a store. The face isn't of Kintaro, but of a dog since it is the Year of the Dog.

I also got an O-mikuji with the candy. O-mikuji are slips of paper which tell your fortune. These are usually found at shrines and temples. There are different levels of luck from Daikichi = great blessing to Daikyo = great curse.

If your o-mikuji is bad, you should tie it to a pine tree. Pine tree has a play on words, pine means "matsu", "matsu" also means to wait. By tying your bad luck fortune to a matsu (pine tree), the bad luck will "wait" by the tree instead of attaching itself to you. The o-mikuji I got with the candy was kichi = blessing. :)


rural88jean said...

Is there anywhere to buy this in the United States? Just wondering if you knew a place. Thanks for your time and attention. JH

K and S said...

JH, if you have a Marukai or Nijiya market nearby, you may want to check to see if they sell them. Other Asian markets may carry them also. They aren't trendy like KitKats are, so they may be difficult to find.

Also Pappabubble a Spanish candy maker opened a shop in NY, their candies are similar to Kintaro ame.

Good Luck!