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Akumaki (あくまき?, 灰汁巻き) is an original Japanese-style confection, which is made in Kagoshima Prefecture, Miyazaki Prefecture and Kumamoto Prefecture during the Boys’ Festival on May 5.

How it is made[edit]

A skin of bamboo soaked in lye overnight is used to wrap glutinous rice soaked in the same way. Akumaki is a rice cake but it is not sticky and it does not easily dry out.

How it is eaten[edit]

Akumaki has no taste. It is typically eaten with blended sugar and toasted soybean flour (kinako), with a little salt or soaked in honey. If it is eaten with nothing, it tastes bitter. However, if it is eaten with a lot of sugar and kinako, it takes on a somewhat unique flavor. It is sometimes considered an acquired taste.

Past and Present[edit]

It is said that akumaki began as a long-term provision for samurai during the Battle of Sekigahara (1600) or the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–1598). Also, Saigo Takamori (1821–1877) took akumaki as a nonperishable commodity to the battlefield during the Satsuma Rebellion (1877). Akumaki became popular in the north of Miyazaki Prefecture and Kumamoto Prefecture due to that rebellion.

Though it has much water, it keeps its quality. It can be kept for about one week at normal temperature, for about two weeks in a refrigerator and it can also be frozen. From transfer and hygiene standpoints, vacuum-packed akumaki can be found in many places as a souvenir. It is not commercially sold generally because it is usually a homemade confection. Therefore, it was difficult to get unless there was special opportunity. Recently, since the opening of the Kyushu Shinkansen train line, akumaki has attracted considerable attention as a slow food. Akumaki is sold in hotels of Kagoshima, roadside stations (michi no eki), over the internet and in supermarkets throughout Kagoshima prefecture.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Homepage of Kagoshima LANGUAGE > English > Special products&Traditional crafts > Special products > Sweets,etc. > Akumaki