Wagashi on Kaishi


While living in Japan I started the ‘Wagashi on Kaishi’ series as a way to document the beauty and transience of these traditional Japanese sweets.

Wagashi are Japanese sweets that are often served with tea, the form and colour of which changes depending on the seasons, each wagashi master will interpret these subtle changes in different and unique ways.

Wagashi are served on folded Kaishi paper, each fold of the kaishi paper holds a different meaning.

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‘Traditionally, before drinking tea, each guest eats a wagashi. once it has been consumed a delicate sweetness lingers. This aftertaste of sweetness is quite important to the wagashi experience. As the tea is savoured, it’s bitterness changes to a delicious flavour which makes the sweetness of the wagashi disappear. In other words, the ever so brief aftertaste of the wagashi must have completely vanished from the palate before the tea is sipped, so that the tea’s rich flavour can be clearly detected and savoured. The ideal is that in tea gatherings, the second the richness of the tea is felt, what it was that one ate beforehand becomes hard to remember. Wagashi is willing to give up its flavour for the sake of that of the tea.’

~ wagashi master - Chikara Mizukami