Marking the Seasons
Wagashi is often designed to convey the unique charm of the changing seasons in Japan.
Many-hued spring flowers, such as cherry and rapeseed blossoms, provide the most common motifs for spring wagashi.
Using clear gelées made of arrowroot starch or agar-agar, confectioners create refreshingly cool sweets that evoke babbling brooks or fireflies on a summer’s evening.
The harvest moon and brilliant autumn leaves are favorite motifs at this time of year. Some autumn wagashi incorporate or mimic chestnuts, persimmons, or other seasonal treats.
In winter, wagashi is often made to resemble snow, ice, or harbingers of spring, such as plum blossoms or green shoots emerging under the snow.