Within the vast world of Japanese sweets, two main categories exist: wagashi (Japanese-style) and yogashi (western style). But have you heard of "dagashi?"
Legend has it that long ago in the Edo period, commoners were forbidden to use refined sugar as it was reserved for the elites. Instead, they resorted to using unrefined brown sugar, producing low-grade "dagashi" sweets. (The "da" in "dasashi" means worthless or low-class.)
Lucky for us, there are shops in Japan still dedicated to reproducing dagashi. Everything in these stores is super cheap, kitschy and filled with nostalgia.
We're happy to begin a new series of articles devoted to exploring the goofy world of low-class dagashi sweets! Stay tuned as we introduce dozens of these little-known candies.