Say hello to spring with rice flour buns with pink, green, and yellow rice topping

AICHI, Mar. 3 – People celebrate Hinamatsuri, the girls’ festival or the dolls’ day, on March 3 in Japan, and on March 2, Japanese-style confection stores in Okazaki City, Aichi Prefecture, were busy making iga-manju, traditional sweets for Hinamatsuri in the Mikawa Region, or the eastern half of Aichi Prefecture today. They are steamed rice flour buns filled with sweet red bean paste and topped with cooked pink, yellow, and green glutinous rice. They are eaten to drive away evil spirits and pray for a good harvest.

Izumiya, a local Japanese confectionery with a 92-year history in Okazaki City, makes iga-manju using carefully selected domestic ingredients. For example, they use Hiyokumochi-brand sticky rice from Kumamoto Prefecture, azuki red beans from Hokkaido for anko (sweet red bean paste), and rice flour from Aichi and Fukui Prefectures for manju buns.

“We use domestic high-quality ingredients to make our iga-manju premium. We devote a great deal of time and care to make good dough out of rice flour,” Michiyo Nagura, a 71-year-old confectioner at the store, explained.

Yuriko Yoshimi (46), a female customer who was in line to buy iga-manju, said happily, “I remember they were served in school lunch, and I got the urge to have some today when I saw them at the store.”


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