The Wonder 500

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Kojo no Tsuki

Tajimaya was founded in the city of Taketa in Oita prefecture in 1804 as a purveyor to the Oka clan, a ruling family of the day. Today, it is the oldest confectioner in Oita prefecture. One of its best-known sweets is Kojo no Tsuki, a confectionary made from fresh ingredients in the form of a “Yagoe no Tsuki” (moon at dawn); by the orders from the Oka clan, the shape and color of these sweets suggest a white moon against a gray-colored dawn sky. In the early Showa Period (1929-1986) when the ruins of Oka-jo Castle became a designated national historical site of Japan, these sweets were awarded the name of “Kojo no Tsuki” in honor of the song of that title by Rentaro Taki, a composer who was connected with the city of Taketa. With a filling of kimi-an (sweet bean paste containing egg yolk) wrapped in awa-yukikan (a light jelly created from sugar, egg whites and agar), these superb sweets have a deliciously moist, fluffy texture that melts in the mouth. They are often served during the tea ceremony all over Japan.