Kinkato ! Wonderful present !

 

This is Nina.

 

A few days ago, A-chan (our friend, Japanese confectionery craftsman) came to Pongyi and gave us a wonderful present !

 

It is this, Kinkato (金花糖)!

 

I think we have already introduced Kinkato in our blog, but many people may hear this name for the first time.

 

Kinkato is a sugar confectionery. To make this, put sugar and water into a wooden case, melt them by heat, solidify and put color.

 

Kinkato came from Europe in Edo era (1603-1868).

It was an expensive offering because sugar was very valuable that time, but it became popular among ordinary people as well in Meiji era (1868-1912). It is said that Kinkato was made in many places in Japan in the beginning of Showa era (1926-1989).

 

However, its very delicate handmade process did not fit to mass production, so the number of people who made Kinkato decreased.

Nowadays, we can get Kinkato only few places in Japan like Kanazawa and Nagasaki.

 

A-chan gives us precious Kinkato every year !

Tai (sea bream), clam and peach ! They are all "good luck " things !

They make us happy♪

 

Thank you very much A-chan !

 

 

(It seems that he is a bit shy)

 

By the way, in addition to the traditional Japanese designs like sea bream, there are many kinds of other designs.

 

 

 

Elephant, squirrel and swan! So cute ♪

Their soft color make us to feel gentle.

 

I decorated the Kinkato in front of the alter.

 

It seems that it is the difficult time for everone because of the coronavirus now.

Please come to see Kinkato when everything is settled ♪

 

 

A-chan's shop !

"Kaga Meika no Koshino" (It is near Higashi chaya geisha district !)

http://www.spacelan.ne.jp/~k.koshino/

金花糖のプレゼント♪

 

 

にいなです。

 

数日前、和菓子職人のえーちゃんがふらりとポンギーに現れ、素敵なプレゼントをしてくれました♪

 

それが、これ、金花糖(きんかとう)です!

 

ポンギーブログでは過去何度か紹介していますが、金花糖の名前を初めて耳にした方も

きっと多いのではないかと思います。

 

金花糖(金華糖とも書かれます)は砂糖と水を熱で溶かし、木型に入れて固めて色を付けたものです。

 

江戸時代にヨーロッパから伝わり、最初は高価な献上品でしたが、明治時代には庶民にも広まりました。

昭和初期には日本各地で生産されていたそうです。

 

しかし・・繊細な手作り作業が大量生産に向かず、生産者が減少し、今では金花糖を生産しているのは

金沢のほかは長崎など、ごく限られた地域なんだとか。

 

そんな貴重な金花糖を、えーちゃんは毎年ポンギーにプレゼントしてくれます。

鯛やはまぐり、桃など、見ているだけでおめでたい!

 

この場を借りて‥えーちゃん、いつも本当にありがとうございます!

 

 

(心なしかちょっと照れている感じのえーちゃんです♪)

 

ちなみに、鯛などの和風な型以外にもいろいろな形の型があるようです。

 

 

 

象やりす、白鳥など、かわいらしい形もたくさん♪

優しい色合いと相まって、見ているだけでほんわりした気持ちになりますね〜

 

今日ご紹介した金花糖は、ポンギーのお祭壇の前に並べて飾らせていただきました。

 

皆さま、今はコロナウイルスで大変かと思われますが、落ち着いたらまたぜひ見に来てくださいね♪

 

 

えーちゃんのお店はこちら♪

加賀銘菓の越野(ひがし茶屋街のすぐ近くにあります!)

http://www.spacelan.ne.jp/~k.koshino/

 

We updated our blog ! Seasonal events at Pongyi !

This is Nina.

 

It's February already ! Time flies !

 

February is the most quiet month (season) for us, because few tourists visit Kanazawa.

We have plenty of time to talk to our guests and really enjoy it every day.

 

Today, I'll write an article about some events of Pongyi that I could not show you recently.

 

 

First, "Kagami-biraki" on January 11th.

”Kagami-biraki" is an event of eating "kagami-mochi (rice cake) at the end of the New Year.

We had a small Kagami-biraki party with our guests.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a kagami-mochi.

We put it for 10 days in our living room as an offering for Kami (kind of God of Shintoism). 

Kagami-mochi in Kanazawa is red and white.

This is one of the traditions in Kanazawa. (Kagami-mochi is usually white in many other places in Japan.)

 

In a big Kagami-mochi, there were 15 small mochi.

We cooked this with them !

 

Oshiruko !!

* Oshiruko is sweet red bean soup with grilled mochi.

 

 

"Wow, mochi ! Yummy〜♪"

Ladies from England and France, they really enjoyed Oshiruko !

 

Masaki-san added a little bit grated ginger in Oshiruko.

That made it more tasty !

 

 

Next, "Otakiage" on January 15th.

 

We brought a lot of  "peace origami (peace message is written inside)” that we made with our guests last year to a shrine nearby and put them into holy fire wishing the peace of the world.

 

Many origami cranes ! 

Plenty of messages inside.

 

We brought some calligraphy papers as well.

It is called "Kakizome".

Usually, we write our new year's resolution.

Everyone who stayed and wrote Kakizome at Pongyi, thank you very much !

 

 

Two guests from the Netherlands and Australia coincidentally chose a same resolution "challenge".

I hope they are challenging something new somewhere in the world !

 

Masaki-san's choice is "Be a healthy middle aged man" !

 

"We hope all the peace message of our guests will reach the sky !"

 

Masaki-san started this peace origami style, and we are still doing it every year (for 10 years) .

We had a wonderful time this year too.

 

For all the guests who participated in our peace origami making last year, we really appreciate your cooperation.

We will try making more cranes this year !

 

 

 

It became the next month, it was "Setsubun" on February 3rd.

”Setsubun” literally means "division of the seasons" so it was the day of end of winter and beginning of spring.

 

We went to Yasue hachimangu shrine and joined the Setsubun and throwing roasted soybeans festival.

The Setsubun festival of this shrine always welcomes not only local Kanazawa people but also visiters from other countries.

This is a scene of a lot of people (so many kids this year !) catching roasted soybeans (and mochi, chocolate, candy)

We caught the soybeans as possible as we could of course !

 

 

After came back to Pongyi, we made "Ehoumaki (sushi roll)".

We prepared cucumbers, pickled radish, Japanese omelet. local tried vegertables, minced tuna etc. this year.

 

"I will roll this !"

 

The lucky direction of 2020 was west-southwest.

In Pongyi, it was almost same direction to the front door.

 

* When we eat ehoumaki, we need to face to the lucky direction of each year.

  Then we eat ehoumaki in silence with closed eyes while making a wish when eating a hole sushi roll.

 

It was so delicious !!

 

 

 

We often enjoy the seasonal Japanese events at Pongyi like this.

We want as many people as possible to know or find our beautiful culture and real lifestyle here !

 

 

We are looking forward to seeing you and enjoying our culture together in Kanazawa♪