Amanattoo sugar-glazed beans



Sugar-glazed beans (amanatto)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Topic
***** Category: Humanity


amanatto あまなっとう【甘納豆】 sugar-glazed beans
beans with caramel coating

is a Japanese traditional confectionery that is made of azuki beans or other beans, covered with refined sugar after simmering with sugar syrup and drying.

It was developed by Hosoda Yasubei 細田安兵衛(ほそだ やすべえ)during the Bunkyū years (1861–1863) in the Edo period. He opened a wagashi sweet store in Nihonbashi, Tokyo in 1856, which he named for his childhood name: Eitaro. He developes the method of Hamanatto to make sweets. Different types of beans are used, azuki soy beans, sasage ささげ【大角豆】cowpeas, ingenmame いんげんまめ【隠元豆】green beans Phaseolus vulgaris, and soramame そらまめ【空豆/蚕豆】 broad beans Vicia faba.
This store continues to operate. Now even sweet potatoes and sweet chestnuts are prepared like this.
They are a special kind different from wagashi sweets, they are called
satoni kashi 砂糖煮菓子sweets made with boiling and sugar-coating

Nihonbashi Eitaroo 日本橋榮太郎

Originally amanattō was called amananattō (甘名納糖); the name was abbreviated to amanattō after World War II.
The resemblance of the name to the fermented bean dish nattō is only coincidental.

In Hokkaidō, amanattō is used in cooking sekihan red rice for festivals. For this reason, unlike other areas, the sekihan of Hokkaidō is a little sweet.
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浜納豆 "beach beans"
Hama-nattoo, savory miso beans, soy nuggets
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
From Shizuoka
Beans are boiled and then fermented in kooji yeast, they are coated in wheat flour. Later they are pickled in saltwater and then dried. Together with grated ginger and myoga ginger they are a speciality at the TZen emple Daifuku-ji 大福寺 near Lake Hamanako in the 15th century. They are part of the vegetarian temple food.
Daitokuji natto
shiokara natto and kara natto : salty natto
tera natto : temple natto

Daitokuji natto 大徳寺納豆
Ikkyu Sojun (1396-1481) was a famous priest and Zen Master of the Rinzai sect, and a literary figure noted for his eccentricities. In 1474 he became head of Daitokuji temple, located in the northern part of Kyoto.
It is said that he learned the method for making soy nuggets originally transmitted from China and passed it on to his students and disciples, one of whom founded Ikkyu, a small shop that in 1984 was in its 17th generation, located just outside the gates of Daitokuji's huge compound. Ikkyu, the first commercial producer, has carried on the tradition to this day, largely as a secret transmission, using the ancient natural method, that is rarely if ever shown to outsiders. An entire year's supply of Daitokuji soy nuggets is produced during a 10-day period starting between July 15 and August 1, in the heat of summer, when direct exposure to the fierce sunlight allows proper drying.

What are Soy Nuggets?
We have coined the term "soy nuggets" to refer to a family of usually salty, fermented-and-aged whole soybean seasonings or condiments that have been made and used throughout East Asia under a variety of names since ancient times. Ironically, this oldest of all fermented soyfoods is, today, the least widely known worldwide.

Records show that in 754, the great T'ang dynasty blind Buddhist priest Chien-chen (Japanese: Ganjin) arrived in Japan by boat, bringing with him 1,428 gallons of salt-free soy nuggets ( kan-shih ). These are now widely considered to have been the progenitor of many of Japan's present fermented soyfoods (Kawamura 1958; Kawamura and Tatsumi 1972).

When Chinese soy nuggets ( shih ) entered Japan from China, they were called kuki , but the name was written with the same Chinese character.

At the time of the first written use of the word natto , it was preceded by an adjective, stating that these soy nuggets were salty. The use of this adjective probably implied that by this time a salt-free natto, an early form of today's "stringy natto" made with a bacterial fermentation, was already well known.

There are probably two basic reasons that the Japanese phased out the Chinese character shih ( kuki ) and coined the new term natto to replace it: first because of a movement during the Heian period (starting in about 894) to Japanize imported words and characters, and second because the Japanese had begun to transform the Chinese soy nuggets into new and different products.

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jagaimo amanattoo じゃがいも甘納豆 potatoes pickled in sugar
sugar-glazed potatoes
from Otaru, Hokkaido 糖漬け
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kintoki amanatto 金時甘納豆
red kintoki beans with sugar glazing
Phaseolus vulgaris
From Kagawa
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


Momotaro tomato amanatto トマト甘納豆
Sweet tomatos with a sugar coating
from Okayama
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Worldwide use

amanatto ... mit Zucker glasiert, z.B. Bohnen oder Kartoffeln

Things found on the way

Nattoo, Natto 納豆fermented beans and Daruma

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Daruma mo te o dasu amanatto

Even Daruma san stretches out his arms -
for sugar-glazed beans

From a store in Onomichi

and on the way, Daruma Gummi turned up too

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sangatsu no amanattoo no ufufufufu

sugar-glazed beans
of March
u fu fu fu fu

Tsubouchi Nenten 坪内稔典
source : 坪内稔典

ufufu ... imagine some old ladies eating sweets and giggeling "hehehe".

This haiku is very famous, but also very difficult to understand, even for Japanese. Maybe it is one of these "unfinished" ... avant-guard haiku.

Tsubouchi sensei has a whole set of haiku about
amanatto in each month.

ichigatsu no amanattoo wa yasetemasu

nigatsu ni wa amanattoo to saka kudaru

shigatsu ni shinda mane suru amanattoo

gotatsu kite komatte shimau amanattoo

amanatto rokugatsu gori ni wa gorotsuite

koshi o itamu amanattoo mu shichigatsu mo

hachigatsu no uso to shitashimu amanattoo

horohoro to ikiru kugatsu no amanattoo

juugatsu no danjo wa minna amanattoo

kaba o yobu juugatsu no amanattoo

I call a hippopotamus -
the sugar-coated beans of

juunigatsu o doo suru doo suru amanatto

what shall I do? what shall I do?
sugar-glazed beans


what shall I do?
what shall I do in December?
sugar-glazed beans

Reference : 甘納豆 12句

Maybe he will start another series after December?

Related words

***** WAGASHI ... Sweets SAIJIKI



anonymous said...

sangatsu no amanattô no ufufufufu

in march
u fu fu fu fu

(1) In Japan, March (san-gatsu) is the end of the business year, full of fresh energy, yet somewhat sad with the departure of the old and familiar. There is a saying in this regard:
deai to wakare no kisetsu
(the season of meetings and farewells).

(2) amanatto — is a traditional Japanese confectionery, made of sweet, fermented azuki beans and sugar; the word-feeling of ‘sweet natto’ reminds of “natto,” a unique food, with a pungent aroma, which is a kind of “power food” or “soul food” (vitality-enhancing).

(3) u fu fu fu fu —
For us, this onomatopoeia creates an image of a group of older women eating the sweets together— in Japanese “ufufu” is a small laughing voice, made with a slightly opened mouth, that is, a kind of modest, small-voiced chuckle, and one imagines a hand placed at the level of the mouth, hiding it.

(4) The haiku also has a sense of personification: it seems as if amanatto itself is modestly chuckling, in a feminine manner. This haiku is among the most well-known of Tsucouchi Nenten, and is often cited.

Richard Gilbert and Itô Yûki (trans.)
May 31, 2007

anonymous said...

Robin D. Gill
in Roadrunner, May 2008

I would add to the translators’ notes on “sweet nattô” that the azuki beans are boiled and no longer seem like nattô (fermented soybeans) to me, but the point that needs to be brought out does not concern the detail. It is that this ku drives many Japanese crazy. Why? Mostly because it is not only read by Nenten fans but by practically everyone, as it got into a major junior-high school (中学校三年) textbook.
Teachers are supposed to be having a hell of a time trying to explain it. Gilbert and Itô picture a group of older women eating the sweets together, explaining that ufufufufu is “a small laughing voice, made with a slightly opened mouth, that is, a kind of modest, small-voiced chuckle, and one imagines a hand placed at the level of the mouth, hiding it.”

I might have imagined the same, for the type of restaurants selling that food caters to women and older ones tend to go for Japanese sweets more than younger ones, but the unintellectual haiyu mentioned already, who is female and in her fifties, claims that she takes the mimesis to mean that the poet, a male, is bubbling over gleefully, and cites a famous poem – maybe from an advertisement? – of a man opening a beer and going ufufufufu. That is to say, there is a bit of “hee, hee, hee!” in the ufufufufu.
Nenten, himself, admitting to receiving question after question on the ku, wrote that he did not want to respond to questions about what of his feelings were expressed in the ku, for he thought it better for readers to enjoy the words themselves and to concentrate on the food itself rather than conjure up the image of a man with a blubbery belly and hair of salt and pepper 『坪内稔典の俳句の授業』坪内稔典著(黎明書房). Such words imply that the ufufufu was originally his.

I wondered if the sound was the bubbling in the pot, but my strict formalist haiyû thinks it represents nature in the early spring just starting to feel its oats. That sounds good to me. It also makes it haiku, though she does not think it a proper haiku as it is “subjective.”
By subjective, she means that only the author has the information needed to know what his ku means, so that, by conventional standards, the ku is immature or unfinished. It is the type of thing young poets who fail to think of others tend to do. This criticism makes sense if one does not know that Nenten claims there is no right way to read his ku. Knowing his stated aim is to provide people with haiku to finish drawing and color in by themselves, it seems small. My friend wrote back to grant that he was “an adept in subjective haiku”(shukanteki haiku no tatsujin).

This has many implications for analyzing haiku. 1. Our evaluation of subjectiveness is itself subjective. 2. There is a difference between the unintended subjectivity of the beginner and the conscious or selective subjectivity of the experienced poet. 3. There are two types of subjectivity, the one expressed by the poet and the one not expressed by the poet, and the second variety, where the reader is the one whose subjectivity is desired, is very different from the traditional subjectivity problem (much of which I have problems with, but that is another matter) in haiku.