It rains a lot here in London these days and it is ‘Tsuyu 梅雨’ the Rainy season in Japan now too. Japanese like associating things with each season and we have a special name ‘Kigo 季語’ for those words that describe seasons in songs and poems like ‘Haiku‘. For instance they can be from weather (Snow), astronomy (Full Moon), event (Rice planting, ‘Hanami‘ Cherry Blossom viewing) or food (Clam, Wasbi). Of course plants and flowers are very seasonal and they are also Kigo.
So what kind of thing can be Kigo for this ‘Tsuyu‘ Rainy Season? There are several things that reminds me of Rainy days and one of the things I am very certain that most Japanese people would associate with must be ‘Ajisai / Hydrangea’ and a Snail. The plant grows and glorifies the flower during the Rainy season and the colour of the flower (OK, I know it is actually calyx and not petal) intensifies in rain and deepens. Strangely there is always a snail or two on a leaf. Ajisai and a Snail are inseparable in Japan.
During Tsuyu season it rains day in, day out, but you cannot just live in a life dark and dull. You need to brighten up your feeling as Hydrangea is getting more and more beautiful in rainy days.
I tried creating several sweets in a theme of ‘Tsuyu’ for this month. ‘A leaf on a Puddle’ in my previous post was one of them and this ‘Ajisai/ Hydrangea’ was another.
This Ajisai / Hydrangea is made of ‘Nerikiri‘ and filled with Azuki (Red Beans) ‘Koshi-An‘ as the centre. It is free from Gluten, Egg, Dairy and Oil.
Normally I don’t show a photo from back side but I think this sweet’s got a rather cute derrière. 😀
Have a great Rainy season everyone. 🙂
This Ajisai is also one of the sweets served in Wasoukan Cafe during June.