|Place of origin||Portugal|
|Main ingredients||Sugar, water|
The characters 金平糖 (lit. "golden flat sugar") are ateji selected mostly for their phonetic value and can also be written 金米糖 or 金餅糖.
This technique for producing candy was introduced to Japan in the early 16th century by Portuguese traders. The infrastructure and refining technology of sugar had not yet been established in Japan. As konpeitō uses a lot of sugar, it was very rare and expensive as a result. In 1569, Luís Fróis, a Portuguese missionary, presented a glass flask of konpeitō to Oda Nobunaga in order to obtain the permit for mission work of Christianity.
By the Meiji period, konpeitō had already been culturally prescribed as one of the standards of Japanese sweets—the character Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker was translated into konpeitō no sei (金平糖の精, Fairy of konpeitō).
Konpeitō is usually 5 to 10 mm (0.20 to 0.39 in) in diameter and is produced by repeatedly coating a sugar syrup over a core consisting of a grain of coarse sugar. Originally, the core was a poppy seed. The process is somewhat similar to the dragée process, except the candies are produced by being ladled with sugar syrup and rotated slowly in a large heated gong-shaped tub called a "dora." Each grain of the core sugar grows over the course of several days with the continued rotating, heating, and application of syrup, becoming a ball covered with tiny bulges. It usually takes 7–13 days to make konpeitō and they are still crafted by artisans today.
The Ministry of Defense's Emergency Food Ration tins and the Imperial Army's Military Combat Ration tins in Japan both contain Konpeito candies, in addition to hard tack bread/biscuits and other food items. While the candies aid in the calorie content necessary for activities, it also helps promote the creation of saliva to make it easier to eat the dry bread.
According to the Ministry of Defense's specifications, "Each white emergency ration bag will contain 150g of small dry bread, with 8 whites, 3 reds, 2 yellows, 2 greens as standard, amounting to 15g or more to be put in the bag.” It is thought that providing the 'colorful and enjoyable' Konpeito will also reduce the stress that would be experienced at times during a disaster.
Konpeito is often used for celebrations such as marriage and childbirth, in elaborate candy boxes called bonbonniere (ボンボニエール), from the French bonbonnière, meaning candy box. It is given as a gift for prayers at shrines and temples. The practice of giving bonbonniere dates back to the commemoration ceremony of the Meiji Constitution in 1889 and has since been thought to be a symbol of good luck. The Japanese Imperial Family has used this gift as the official ‘Welcome’ gift continuously for over 130 years.
The Star Bits in Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel, the Gratitude Crystals and Star Fragments in The Legend of Zelda series, and Minior, as well as Max Revives (and to a lesser extent, Revives) and Cosmog's star candies from the Pokémon series, are all based on these candies. Super Mario RPG also features it as an attack item that was localized as "Rock Candy". They can also be seen in the 2001 Japanese animated film Spirited Away, as well as in various anime, such as Bleach, Hamtaro, Wish Upon the Pleiades, Sailor Moon, Kobato, Happy Sugar Life, Battle Game in 5 Seconds and Stellvia.
They appear as a consumable item in Touken Ranbu; consuming one raises a character's experience points by a small amount.
They feature as a key element in the 2017 film Honnōji Hotel.
In the anime Kobato, the sweet and naïve Hanato Kobato comes to Earth on a mission to collect and fill a bottle with "konpeito", which appear after healing a person's heart that is suffering.
In Season 1 of Hamtaro, Laura introduces Hamtaro to konpeito-shaped candies called Diamonds of Sugar. Boss says that the candies are the same things as stars in the sky. The Ham-Hams want to catch the supposed Diamonds of Sugar from the sky, but they're unaware of the stars' actual distance from Earth until they spot a shooting star. Meanwhile, Laura and Kana's families are having a garden party and watch the stars too.
In the Pokémon Sun and Moon anime series, Nebby's favorite food as a Cosmog is the Japanese star-shaped candy konpeito.
In the web-series Bee and Puppycat, Bee's dadbox makes a candy that bears a striking resemblance to the sugary treat.
In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Star Fragments resemble the candy.
In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, konpeitō is Nezuko's favourite food.
Konpeitō is one of several treats which can be fed to Spirit Dream Eaters in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance; it is renamed "Confetti Candy" in the game's English-language localization.
- Richard Hosking A Dictionary of Japanese Food 1996 Page 84 " Konpeitō コンペイトー 金平糖 comfit. A sugar candy introduced by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century, one kind of higashi. It is a small toffee sphere (5 mm in diameter) with a pimply surface, made from sugar, water, and flour in a variety of colors. Originally there was a sesame seed in the middle, later a poppy seed, but nowadays no seed at all. The word comfit derives from the Portuguese confeito."
- Constantine Vaporis (2012). Voices of Early Modern Japan: Contemporary Accounts of Daily Life. p. 99.
Even though the Portuguese were expelled from Japan in 1639, pan (bread), konpeito (a type of candy), tempura
- Shozo Ishizaka; Y. Kato; R. Takaki (1987). Science on form: proceedings of the First International Symposium (PDF). p. 4.
This candy was brought to Japan for the first time by a Portuguese missionary, Luis Frois, in 1569. It was among some presents to Nobunaga, the ruler of Japan of that time. The sugar candy was kept in a bottle of glass, and was called "confeitos" in Portuguese.
- Dorothy Blair (1973). A history of glass in Japan. Corning Museum of Glass. p. 159.
The Jesuit Father Luis Frois is said to have presented to Oda Nobunaga candles and a glass flask filled with kompeito (a kind of sugar candy); and to Ashikaga Yoshiaki, silk and a glass vessel with a broken handle.
- "..まずは、チャイコフスキーの「くるみ割り人形」から「金平糖の精の踊り」。", Shūkan Asahi, 106, p. 125, 2001
- 金平糖の作り方, Ebisudo-Seika
- (PDF) https://www.mod.go.jp/j/procurement/chotatsu/nds/pdf/n/n5002.pdf. Missing or empty
- Felice Fischer (2008). The art of Japanese craft: 1875 to the present. Philadelphia Museum of Art. p. 60.
Tokyo: Kunaicho, 2004. YoroJkobi no kobako: bonbonieru no ishobi (Celebratory miniature boxes: the decorative beauty of the bonboniere).
- https://www.asahi.com/articles/ASK8855PFK88UTIL02B.html. Missing or empty
- https://www.yamada-heiando.jp/media/bonbonniere/. Missing or empty
- https://www.alic.go.jp/joho-s/joho07_001678.htm. Missing or empty
- Super Mario Wiki: Rock Candy
- "Spirited Away – Konpeito". Fictional Food. 2011-07-02. Retrieved 2018-03-10.
- "Hamtaro Season 1x5 - Diamonds Of Sugar 1x5". Retrieved 2018-12-31.
- "Image". Retrieved 2018-12-31.
- "Konpeito in Anime". Do you recognize this crazy candy?. 2015-04-20. Retrieved 2018-12-31.
- "Hamtaro Season 1x5 - Diamonds Of Sugar 1x5". Retrieved 2018-12-31.