Botamochi and Ohagi

This time is not an introduction of tourist spot, but an introduction of Japanese food.
[ Ohigan ]
March 21st is the day of spring equinox.
The seven days before and after this day are called Ohigan of Spring.
In the same way, we say that seven days before and after the autumnal equinox is Ohigan of autumn.
Many Japanese visit the graves on the Ohigan.
Botamochi and Ohagi are often given at the time of visiting the grave.
Botamochi and Ohagi are Japanese sweets of rice cakes.
And they are the same.
These are Japanese favorite foods from long ago.
I bought Ohagi yesterday at Manshodo in the Higashimuki shopping mall.

Japanese confection shop called Manshodo

Japanese confection shop called Manshodo

These are it.

Ohagi

Ohagi

Ohagi

The outside is bean paste.
The inside is steamed or cooked rice.
Why does it have two names?
Actually, it seems that there were originally four names.
There is the following theory that the name was used properly according to the season.
[ The name in spring and autumn ]
In spring, it was written as Botanmochi(peony rice cake), looking like a peony flower, called Botamochi.
In autumn, it was called Ohagi, as it was a flower of Hagi(bush clover).
[ The name in summer and winter ]
In summer and winter, it was not called with a name that looked like a flower.
Unlike ordinary rice cake, this rice cake is made without pounding.
Since there is no sound, if you do not see it, you do not know when the rice cake was made.
That is, tsuki(poundind) sirazu(you don't know).
There is the word "tuki(pounding)" with exactly the same pronunciation as "tuki(arriving)".
So, "tsuki(pounding) sirazu(you don't know)" replaces "tsuki(arriving) sirazu((you do not know about it)".
Because the night is dark and you don't know when the ship arrived, "tsuki sirazu" became "yofune(a ship of the night)."
This was the name in summer.
"Tsuki(moon)" is the same pronunciation as "tsuki(pounding)".
"Tsuki(moon) shirazu(you don't know" in other words, you can not see the moon in the northern window, so it was called "Yofune(North window)".
This was the name in winter.
[ Tsubuan and Koshian ]
Azuki beans(Red beans) are harvested in autumn.
When you make bean paste with them, you can eat deliciously because its skin is soft.
It's tsubuan(mashed sweet bean paste).
The Ohagi were made with tsubuan in autumn.
As the skin of the azuki becomes hard in the spring, leather is removed from the bean paste.
It's koshian(smooth sweet bean paste).
The botamochi were made with koshian in spring.
For this reason, one using koshian was called botamochi, and one using tsubuan was called ohagi.
Right now, the preservation method improves and the skin of beans aren't hard even in spring.
And we call it either Hagi or Mudanboku at each shop or each person's idea.
However, I have never heard of calling it "Yofune" or "Kitamado".

[Approximate Latitude / Longitude]
On Google Maps, you can examine the location by latitude and longitude.
The following latitudes and longitudes are not officially announced, they are what I examined.
So they may be wrong.
(1)Manshodo: N34.6838 E135.82871


(March 21, 2018)

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