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Japanese sweet and snack makers

Japan has a huge number of snack and sweet producers. From the traditional makers of Wagashi which are traditional Japanese confections that are often served with tea, to the modern snacks and potato chips that you can buy in supermarkets and convenience stores all over the country.

Some snacks are considered local delicacies and domestic tourists often buy these as souvenirs to take home from their travels.

Fujinawa sensei lives in Niigata prefecture, which is famous for its rice and sake. It is also famous for its snacks too.

Read this heartwarming story about one of Niigata prefecture's most famous snacks and learn Japanese from the YouTube video too.





みなさん、『柿の種』というお菓子を知っていますか? 機内スナックで出されたり、日本以外の国でも売られたりしているので食べたことのある人も多いと思います。私も大好きなお菓子の一つです。 実はこのお菓子、私の出身地・新潟県長岡市にある『浪花屋製菓』が日本で最初に作りました。






To listen to this blog, please watch our Youtube video.


みなさん、『柿の種』というお菓子(かし)を知っていますか? 機内スナックで出(だ)されたり、日本以外の国でも売られたりしているので食べたことのある人も多いと思います。私も大好きなお菓子の一つです。 実(じつ)はこのお菓子、私の出身地(しゅっしんち)・新潟県長岡市(にいがたけんながおかし)にある『浪花屋製菓(なにわやせいか)』が日本で最初(さいしょ)に作りました。








Have you heard of the snack called 'Kaki-no-Tane'? It's given as an in-flight snack and sold in countries other than Japan too, so I think of a lot of people have eaten it before. It is one of my favorite snacks. Actually, these sweets were first made in Japan by Naniwaya Seika which is in my hometown of Nagaoka city in Niigata prefecture.

Niigata prefecture is famous for being a rice producing district. And due to this, from long ago it became active in the production of rice sake and rice sweets.

'Kaki-no-Tane' used to be usual rice crackers in past. They were made by rolling out rice cake dough into thin pieces and cutting them into small parts using a metal mold. One day the founder of Naniwaya Seika who was the current president of the company at the time accidentally crushed the metal mold and the sweets came out in a different shape from usual. And because the color and shape resembled pumpkin seeds (kaki-no-tane in Japanese) they came to be known as 'Kaki-no-Tane', and when they came on sale many came to love with their piquant taste, and it became a popular snack.

But, the 'Kaki-no-Tane' that many people know is probably not the 'Kaki-no-Tane' made by Naniwaya Seika. Actually, there is a heartwarming story behind this too.

The president of the company that first made 'Kaki-no-Tane' gave permission to develop the sweets and use the name 'Kaki-no-Tane' to not only his own company but to all the other Sembei crackers and rice crackers in Niigata prefecture. So because of this, other companies also use the name 'Kaki-no-Tane'. The reason why so many sweet makers are in Niigata prefecture is probably due to this company president.

I would be so glad if the next time you eat 'Kaki-no-Tane' you can remember this story.

柿の種:Kaki-no-Tane(trade name)




出身地(しゅっしんち):one's home village

産地(さんち):product district




あられ:cubic rice crackers

薄(うす)くのばす:roll out dough into thin

餅(もち):(sticky) rice cake

金型(かながた):mold tool


柿(かき)の種(たね)に似(に)ている:looks like seeds of Japanese persimmon

名付(なづ)けられる:be named


ほっこりとした:①heartwarming、②chillaxing ここでは①




~のおかげ:owing to

Konnichi-wa, everybody. Hajimemashite. My name is Chiharu Takase.
I was born in the spring, that's why my parents decided to include the the Kanji for spring (haru) in my name. My hometown is in Yamaguchi prefecture on the western coast of Honshu, but now I live in Kyoto, one of Japan's early capital cities. I'm married with one son, and my hobby is the Japanese tea ceremony.

Learning a new language, including Japanese, can be tough at first, but once you start comprehending the patterns and rhythm, you'll find that there is nothing more interesting. Do what you can, when you can, and enjoy the challenge. I'm really looking forward to meeting you in our online Japanese classroom. Let's spend an enjoyable 50 minutes together. Dozo yoroshiku onegai-shimasu.

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Guest Tuesday, 26 October 2021