Minazuki – It’s Japanese Traditional Sweets Eaten on June 30 in Japan
Written by aki
Japanese Traditional Sweets are called Wagashi.
One of the characteristics of Wagashi is its emphasis on seasons.
In this issue, I will teach you about Minazuki, a Japanese confectionery to be eaten on June 30!
Here is a wagashi called Minazuki.
In Japan, the month of June is called “Minazuki”.From there, the name “Minazuki” was given to this wagashi.
Minazuki is written “水無月” in kanji.
If I look at the literal translation of this, 水 means water.無 means nothing, and 月 means moon.
A month without water…it’s kind of strange.
So why on earth is June called Minazuki in Japan?
There are many theories, but the most popular theory is that it is because it is the time to fill the rice paddies with water.
The kanji “無” is actually not used here to mean “nothing” but rather “of ____”.
So, it actually means “month with water”, not “month without water”. Japanese is a complicated language!
Another theory is that the current month of July is June in the lunar calendar, and the name “June is Waterless Month” came from the fact that the rainy season is over, the sun is shining, and the water dries up due to the heat.
This is a more understandable theory.
Why eat Minazuki on June 30?
The origin of the wagashi called Minazuki is said to be in Kyoto.
Minazuki is a Japanese confectionery made of white rice cake (called Uiro) topped with cooked red beans.
The top photo is Minazuki, and the bottom photo is a wagashi called “Uiro” which is the base of Minazuki.
June 30 is just the turn of the year.
In Kyoto, there is a ritual to purify the sins and impurities of the past six months and celebrate good health for the remaining six months of the year.
The wagashi eaten at that ritual is “Minazuki”.
By the way, the triangle shape and azuki beans also have meaning!
The red beans are said to “ward off evil spirits” and the triangles represent “ice” to ward off the heat.
Today there are many different flavors of Minazuki!
Minazuki is generally white rice cake, but brown sugar and green tea are also found.
In addition to Japanese confectionery shops, you can also find them in supermarkets and convenience stores during the season!
It is recommended to eat it well chilled. Its light texture makes it easy to enjoy even in hot weather.
Many wagashi are seasonally inspired, so be sure to check for seasonal wagashi when you visit Japan.