Spring rice cakes MOCHI


Ricecakes for SPRING

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Spring
***** Category: Humanity


Mochi rice cakes 餠 are eaten in all seasons.
Here are some samples for SPRING.



Early Spring

Godairiki Mochi ... 五大力餅
Rice cakes for the ceremony of the "five great strong Bodhisattvas" at temple Daigoji in Kyoto.

Uguisu mochi 鶯餅 (うぐいすもち)
"nightingale" rice cakes, bush warbler cakes
They are eaten in anticipation and expectation of hearing the first bush warbler (nightingale) soon.
The oval cakes are filled with red bean paste and covered with green soy bean powder, sometimes green tea powder.
They are sold in mid-march.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !



The Doll Festival (hina matsuri) more kigo
March 3

Here are some sweets for this festival:

Hishi mochi, hishimochi 菱餅 (ひしもち)
red, white, and green lozenge-shaped rice cakes

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waga yado no mochi sae aoki yo narikeri

even in my house
the rice cakes are green
in the evening . . .

Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶

. . . . .

Hina arare 雛あられ (ひなあられ)
mame iri 豆炒(まめいり)
hinagashi 雛菓子(ひながし)

Shirazake 白酒 (しろざけ) sweet white rice wine
vendor of white rice wine, shirazake uri 白酒売(しろざけうり)
flask for white rice wine, shirazake tokkuri 白酒徳利(しろざけとくり)
..... shirazake bin 白酒瓶(しろざけびん)

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The preparation is very similar to that of sweet rice wine, amazake.
A sip of this drink is said to ward off disease for the rest of the year. During the Edo period, vendors used to walk the streets as early as February 20. The appearance of a vendor in the famous Kabuki play "Sukeroku" is especially famous.

CLICK for original LINK ... pub.ne.jp
Woodblock Print by Kunisada

. Sukeroku 助六 - Hero of Edo .

shirazake no koyoi wa onna tenka nari

with the white rice wine ...
the ladies are in power

Hayashi Ichiroku 林一六
Tr. Gabi Greve


shirazake ni yoeba mukashi wa yoki jidai

getting drunk
with white rice wine -
the past was a good time 

Yamazaki Kumiko 山崎久美子
Tr. Gabi Greve


source : www.turuya.co.jp
Sweets and Haiku

Kusamochi 草餅 (くさもち) mugwort rice cakes
kusa no mochi 草の餅(くさのもち)
yomogi mochi 蓬餅(よもぎもち)mugwort rice cakes
hooko mochi 母子餅(ほうこもち) "mother and child"
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 wrote

ryoo no te ni momo to sakura ya kusa no mochi

in both hands
peach and cherry blossoms
veggie crackers

Tr. Reichhold

"Rich in moon and blossoms":
at my hut there are a peach and cherry tree; for my disciples there are Kikaku and Ransetsu.

in my two hands
peach and cherry blossoms--
and mugwort rice-cake

Tr. Barnhill

Reichhold comments:
"On this occasion Basho was visited by his longtime disciples Kikaku and Ransetsu. The wordplay is built on the proverb 'ryoo no te ni hana', which literally means 'to have flowers in both hands' or a 'double advantage'.
It is often used to describe a man who sits between two pretty women.
The word 'hana' ('flower') is dropped but implied."

source : ayasuzuri

This is a haiku with three kigo, showing the joy of spring.

. Haiku Sweets (haika 俳菓) .


Warabi mochi, warabimochi 蕨餅 (わらびもち) bracken starch rice cakes
speciality in the Kansai area. bracken-starch dumplings
covered with kinako soy bean flower
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


Late Spring

Sakura mochi, sakuramochi ... 桜餅
Cherry Blossom Rice Cakes

This is a variety of wagashi, or Japanese confectionery consisting of a sweet pink mochi (rice cake) and red bean paste, covered with a leaf of sakura (cherry).

CLICK for more photos The style of sakuramochi differs from the regions in Japan. Basically, the east of Japan such as Tokyo uses shiratama-ko (白玉粉, shiratama-ko rice flour) and the west side such as Kansai uses dōmyōji-ko (道明寺粉, dōmyōji-ko glutinous rice flour) for batter.

More in the WIKIPEDIA !

In some areas they are also eaten for
the Doll Festival (Hina Matsuri).

mitsu kueba yoo sanpen ya sakuramochi 

if you eat three
you have three leaves -

Takahama Kyoshi 高浜虚子

At the temple Choomeiji 長命寺 Chomei-Ji they are wrapped in three leaves, so if you eat three cakes you have nine leaves.

Utagawa Toyokuni 歌豊国 (国貞) - 向島堤の花並びに桜餅

Two ladies carry Sakuramochi from the temple, maybe as a souvenir to the people back home. They have a pole in their hands and two bamboo baskets full of the sweets!

一英斎芳艶 - 歌川芳艶 Utagawa Yoshitsuya (1822 - 1866)

. Choomeiji 長命寺 Chomei-Ji, Sumida ward, Tokyo .   

In Osaka and the Kansai region they use dōmyōji-ko 道明寺粉, glutinous rice flour.


All Spring

Tsubaki mochi, tsubakimochi 椿餅 (つばきもち) camellia rice cakes
..... tsubaimochi, tsubai mochi つばいもち【椿餅】
..... tsubai mochii つばいもちい
This sweet has been introduced from China. Made from hoshii rice of the temple Domyoji 道明寺糒(ほしいい).
The white or pink mochi is sprinkeld with amazura 甘葛 and then placed between two shining green leaves of camellia, which is a very special Japanese touch to the sweet.
This sweet is already mentioned in the Genji Monogatari.

tsuma arazu nusumi ni nitaru tsubakimochi

my wife is not home -
like a thief I eat this
camellia sweet

. Ishida Hakyo 石田波郷(   

Worldwide use

Things found on the way


Haiku and the Doll Festival (hina matsuri, Japan)


senshitsu ni hina no hi tote sakuramochi

in the ship's cabin
we eat sakuramochi -
it's Doll's Festival

Takahama Kyoshi 高浜虚子
On his trip to France
Tr. Gabi Greve


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michi no ame uguisu mochi ga moo deta ka

rain on the road -
are the uguisu mochi
already on sale?

. Tomiyasu Fusei (Fuusei) 富安風生

Related words

More about
***** WASHOKU : Mochi Rice cakes  

***** Wagashi ... Sweets



Anonymous said...

Oh, that's naughty and nice.
Easy for a guy like me to relate to.

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

- sakuramochi -

choomeiji sakuramochi yori nenga kana

from temple Chomei-Ji
instead of cherry blossom rice cakes
there comes a New Year greeting . . .

The cut marker KANA is at the end of line 3.

. 久保田万太郎 Kubota Mantaro .

about the temple Chomei-Ji in Tokyo

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

- Mochi 餅 rice cakes and 妖怪 Yokai monsters -

Gabi Greve said...

kusamochi - Kobayashi Issa

kusamochi ya jizoo no hiza ni oite kuu

the herb cakes
I put on holy Jizo's lap
then eat

An herb cake (kusamochi) has been left as an offering in the lap of a stone (or wood) Jizô. In this haiku, Shinji Ogawa explains, Issa is using Jizô's lap as a dining table. He adds, "Jizô might be disappointed." Before the last word of the haiku, kuu ("eat"), the scene seems to be conventionally pious: someone is placing an offering cake in Jizô's lap. Issa, however, comically replaces piety with gluttony.
Jizô is the beloved guardian deity of children.

David Lanoue

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Legend from Ibaraki
茨城町 Ibaraki city

hebi 蛇 serpent - kaapa かあぱ Kappa
Once upon a time a vicious serpent (or maybe a Kappa) lived in the river and many children lost their lives.
The villagers asked a Rokubu what to do about this.
The Rokubu told them to make mochi 餅 rice cakes on the last day of the year, give them to children and have them throw into the river. This would protect the children.
And indeed, from that time on, no more water accidents happened at the river.

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

mochi 餅と伝説 Legends about rice cakes
collecting here

Gabi Greve said...

Oni demons made from mochi rice dough

観菩提寺 正月堂の修正会/三重県伊賀市 For the Shuni-E ritual at temple Kanbodai-Ji
鬼らしい。鬼なんだけれど、 like Oni 鬼 demons .

Gabi Greve said...

kusamochi ya Nakasendoo ni ichirizuka

these mugword rice cakes -
along the Nakasendo
at the milestone mound

福原紫朗 Fukuwara Shiro
We can see the poet sitting down and enjoying a snack at the milestone marker.