Matsue: The World of Wagashi

Journeys in Japan

28m 00s
Broadcast on February 14, 2023 Available until March 31, 2024

Matsue, in Shimane Prefecture, is renowned as a center for wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets). Around the 18th century, more than 100 kinds of confections were created there, elevating the city as one of Japan's most famous centers for wagashi, alongside Kyoto and Kanazawa. To this day, this culture remains an important part of daily life, and for many people it is customary to enjoy these confections as a snack with tea each day in the mid-morning and mid-afternoon. This culture was introduced to Matsue some 300 years ago along with the tea ceremony by the feudal lord of the Matsue domain, Matsudaira Harusato―who is also known as Lord Fumai. Many of the wagashi treats developed in the city during his life are still favorites with the local people. On this episode of Journeys in Japan, American artist Brandon Chin explores the world of wagashi in Matsue, meeting local artisans who are still carrying on the tradition.

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