Chitose ame is a traditional Japanese sweet associated with Shichi-Go-San. Observed on November 15, Shichi-Go-San is a festival and rite of passage for children aged seven (shichi), five (go), and three (san). Typically, girls celebrate at the ages of five and seven, while boys celebrate at the age of three.
The long, thin shape of chitose ame symbolizes longevity. Families enjoy this treat as a way to wish children a healthy life. It is believed that chitose ame was traditionally given as a gift to thank guests for attending a Shichi-Go-San ceremony.
Available All Year Round
Iwaiseika's chitose ame is available at ¥110 JPY (around $0.8 USD) a piece in five colors: red (strawberry milk), white (milk), purple (grape), yellow (lemon), and green (matcha). The sweet's auspicious spiral designs are carefully crafted using a traditional method of stretching the candy many times before molding.
President Masakazu Iwai of Iwaiseika explains, "By incorporating air during this [stretching] process, we achieve a light texture and an elegant color."
He adds, "It's remarkable that our shipments continue without interruption throughout the year, even after November has passed. There is always someone, somewhere, who needs this candy."
- [Hidden Wonders of Japan] Naki Sumo in Morito Daimyojin Shrine
- For the 'Future of Children': PM Kishida Outlines New National Initiative on Families
- New Nursery School Program is 'Study Abroad' for Families: Applying and First Steps
- Reversing Depopulation: Why Japan Used to Be a 'Children's Paradise'
(Read the related article in Japanese.)
Author: Satomi Sakaki