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Item
Kigata or Kashigata
Used Hand Carved Wooden Hagashi Sweets Mold
Cherry Wood
Japanese Plum (Ume) Shape
Probably used commercially but were also sold for home use.
Age
Early 1900s
Size
Length - 3.35 inches, 8.5 cm
Width - 2.75 inches, 7 cm
Height - 1.0 inches, 2.5 cm
Weight - 3.0 oz, 85 g
Condition
Very Good Condition
A few very small nicks in the wood as seen in photos
Comments Higashi, one of several types of Japanese wagasi confectioneries, are made from glutinous rice flour, sugar and starch mixed together then pressed into these wooden kigata molds to form traditional dry sweets.

As is the case with many traditions in Japan, wagasi (sweets) are not as simple as they seem to the casual eye. Here's is a wonderful explanation detailing the complexity of these delicious treats.

Higashi confections come in many shapes, some of which are pictured below. By tradition they are made in designs that celebrate each of the 4 seasons.

Higashi are an important element of the Japanese tea ceremony, meant to be eaten to help offset the bitterness of maccha tea. In 18th-century Japan, these small sugar treats were a luxury only enjoyed by the imperial family and the upper classes. Now, anyone can take pleasure in eating these delightful delicacies.