Kashikou. [Report about Sweets].

TACHIBANA Ukon (1920].)

£550.00  [First Edition]

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First edition. Printed calligraphic frontispiece and 8 (of 11?) colour woodblock plates (one double-page). 24.5x18 cm. Overall in very good condition. In custom made slip case. [xxiv], 67pp.  Kyoto, Fujisawa Mankado, dated: Taisho 9 [i.e. 

A bowl of matcha is not complete without a small accompanying sweet, known as wagashi (Japanese confectionery). The world of wagashi is one of great depth and variety, with hundreds of seasonal confections. Visitors to Japan will note the delight with which seasonal wagashi are released in shops – sakura-mochi, rice cakes wrapped in a cherry leaves, is one such marker of spring. The present book illustrates some of the more elaborate designs that were available for auspicious occasions. 

The present work surveys the history of wagashi and how they should be pared with different types of tea. For koi-cha, or strong tea, Tachibana recommends omogashi, a form of fresher sweet that is typically consumed before a bowl of matcha. For usu-cha, or light tea, higashi, a dry wagashi that dissolves in the mouth, is recommended. 

At the beginning of the book are six vibrant plates depicting kenjo-gashi, a type of ornate wagashi reserved for the very elite, such as the Imperial family or high-ranking samurai. These are followed by two plates depicting more common types of wagashi by the company Tachibanaya, which no longer appears to exist. Among these is an illustration of yatsu-hashi, a triangular mochi sheet with red bean paste, which can be found across shops and tea houses in Kyoto still today. 

Foreword by Kiyooka Chogon. Some confusion appears to exist about the number of plates for this title. OCLC list a digital version at the Hathitrust Digital Library which lists [24pp.] prelims followed by 67pp. which corresponds to our copy. The Waseda copy lists 11 plates. We have seen another copy in the Japanese trade with 8 plates. Rare. Only four copies in OCLC. 

Stock Code: 246785

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