The truth behind the famous Mizu Shingen Mochi: Takeda Army’s emergency food

2016/04/20 21:53 683 views
In the recent SNS, there were many posts about the making of Mizu Shingen Mochi. The crystal-like appearance Mizu Shingen Mochi is full with Japanese-style flavour. 12003169_10153126218516845_615203147089486269_n

However, there is always the question of why this jelly-like delicacy is called as mochi (もち)?

It’s true. Those who speak Japanese and always visit Japan know that Japanese’s mochi is referred to as those sticky rice-cake; What about Mizu Shingen mochi then? In order to answer this question, it is necessary to introduce the story behind Mizu Shingen Mochi. Shingen mochi is named after a famous Japanese military Takeda Shingen. According tothe largest manufacturers of Shingen mocha –Kinseiken Seika Company, Shingen mochi was the emergency food for the Takeda Army. Takeda was mainly in charge of the governance ofKoshu, currently known as the Yamanashi Prefecture. For the Japanese, Yamanashi gives a very strong impression of Takeda Shingen, Shingen mochi has thus become the symbolic souvenir from Yamanashi. 12039346_10153126231541845_8837286916446102982_n When you see the true face of Shingen mochi, then you will understand why it is called as ‘mochi’. It is because the traditional Shingen mochi is made of rice cake, which is known as Japanese mochi. 12046592_10153126232841845_891783970590762919_n The traditional rice cake is topped with soybean powder and eaten with brown sugar syrup, you can also choose not to add the syrup. 12088377_10153126232301845_6602659143343238335_n12066051_10153126232086845_1559125761605728648_n   12105824_10153126231951845_6944131743063695212_n The packaging, looks like a decoration, but it is used to keep the soybean powder in place when you are eating the mochi, such a thoughtful design.  

How did the Shingen mochi came from?

In its new form, Mizu Shingen mocha is a new product from the well-known mochi manufacturer, Kinseiken Seika Company in 2013. In order to let the customer to taste the water used to make the Mizu Shingen mochi (where it is manufactured: North Yamanashi), agar was added into it and gave it a crystal-like appearance. Mizu Shingen Mochi is purely handmade, it is impossible to have a large production, due to the limited production, it always sold out, it only sell during summer (usually from June to September), every Saturday and Sunday. It is available at only two of Kinseiken’s stores, both located in Yamanashi, you have to eat it immediately. It attracts many Japanese and causes a long queueto form even before the shops opens. During peak season, it might take up to two hours of queuing. In comparison to the traditional Shingen Mochi, the new Mizu Shingen Mochi gives a refreshing taste. Besides Mizu Shingen Mochi, another Shingen mocha manufacturer – Kikyouan offers more varieties, such as Shingen Ice-cream, pudding and French crepes, offering more souvenir options for the tourist. In most of the hotels in Yamanashi, it is common to see Shingen Ice-cream on the menu. 12107071_10153126218561845_4895403472494681806_n   To those who are interested, plan your trip during summer. You may refer to Kinseiken Official Website (it includes the store address and Japanese introduction of Mizu Shingen Mochi): http://kinseiken.co.jp/news/3102    

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