“Kagizen Ryobo” hangs noren in Gion Town near Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto. The confectionery shop, which is popular under the name “Kakizen-san”, is a long-established store with a history of 300 years. A coffee cup is set up at the back of the shop, and it is a confectionery shop that has both style and familiarity, always crowded with many customers for freshly made sweetness such as the specialty scraps.
This book is the world of Japanese sweets written by the 15th master of such a key Yoshirabo. It is a visual book that you can enjoy no matter where you read it, along with beautiful photos.
- What is the standing position of Japanese sweets in the sweets boom?
Zenya Imanishi, the author of this book, was born in 1972. His father, his predecessor, inherited the 15th generation in response to his desire to retire at the age of 60. At first, I started training from making Japanese sweets, and when I became a manager, I was worried that “people who buy Japanese sweets will tapered down as it is”. And, the policy was decided so. “Instead of making new sweets, we need to improve the quality of the existing sweets” and “Work according to the convenience of our customers, not our own convenience.” He describes that it was an opportunity to think about “what is the cake that is good for the key” together while discussing with old craftsmen and sometimes having heated discussions.
Such a look at sweets will get the sympathy of many people with Instagram and other SNS posted photos. In this book, the current generation coordinates containers and sweets. Key-good sweets that he says are “glossy and adorable as a sangri” are sometimes dynamic and sometimes fashionable. The way it is shown also invites it to the charm of a new cake.
- Japanese sweets are a communication tool. What fills people between people
This book is also a long-established “current progressive” confectionery book, but each 12-month sweets add nuance with soft sentences with memories of “events and years” unique to confectionery shops raised in Gion Town. Japanese sweets with “seasons” projected on both color and shape are truly microcosm in the palm of your hand. However, Mr. Imanishi spells it so. “I think sweets must be basic, secondary, and make up for the place between people. “Sweets are not communication tools and protagonists that fill between people and between them.”
That’s why here in key goodness, there is a great deal of worry about the role that sweets play. Starting with a celebration or a non-celebration, whether it is a gift or an apology, he is particular about how to pack sweets, and to “clean” up to the box and one hanging paper. The attitude unique to a long-established store in Gion, close to one aesthetic, is carried out.
- Collaboration with artists and the beauty of Mingei
The author’s uncle, Zenzo Imanishi, the 12th generation of Kagizen, has a close relationship with artists of the Mingei movement such as Muneyoshi Yanagi, and there are many works by Tatsuaki Kuroda of wood lacquer crafts in particular here. A pair of solemn decorative shelves that catch the eye of those who entered the head office. It was worth it that it was a universal contract fee of one house by money at that time.
In addition, the museum has masterpieces by Tatsuaki Kuroda, such as masterpieces finished with raden imitating the mold of Shingen Bento with “Tsukitsukiri” vessels for delivery to customers and maiko. In January 2021, the current museum zenbi will open a place where you can experience the world of beauty nurtured by confectionery culture. There is also ZENCAFE, which opened in 2012 nearby, where you can enjoy a sweetness inspired by “freshly made Japanese sweets” that can be eaten on the spot instead of takeout. In addition, this book introduces in detail the new world view unique to Keyzen that the present generation is working on, such as the production of “Ōe Confectionary”, which is inspired by artists who hold solo exhibitions here at ZENBI and acquaintances’ galleries.
- Beautiful Japanese confectionery wooden mold
Japanese sweets are handmade, but the wooden molds that make them are also handmade. It is a world where craftsmen are decreasing sharply now, but there is also a page that touches the beauty of wooden molds in this book. The wooden mold, which is considered to be a treasure of confectionery shops, is not only a mirror reflecting the era when confectionery was loved, large and small, such as the type of the main confectionery. In particular, one of The Key Good’s signature sweets, Kikuju Sugar, is a mind-boggling art of how many petals are carved on small flowers, and nhk and BS “Vase of Beauty Japanese Sweets Special” (broadcast on November 20) also features a wooden-shaped craftsman who newly carved this wooden mold.
The aforementioned ZENBI-Kagizen ART MUSEUM is holding a “Beautiful Japanese Confectionery Wooden Mold Exhibition” until April 3, 2022.
< Author Profile>
Born and raised as the eldest son of Kagizen Ryobo, a confectionery shop in Gion, Kyoto, after graduating from Doshisha University, he trained at a confectionery shop in Ginza, Tokyo. After that, he returned to his home to take over the family business, and in 2008 he changed the president at the intention of his father, and became the 15th head of a Japanese confectionery shop that has continued since the Edo Kyoho year. While preserving the tradition of Kyoto’s confectionery that continues continuously, always try to make sweets that match the times. “ZENCAFE” where you can enjoy freshly made Japanese sweets and “ZENBI” art museum will be opened.
< Table of Contents>
Chapter I Key Twelve Months
Chapter II The Beauty of Design
Chapter III Wooden Molds and Branded Seals
Chapter IV Packaging
Chapter 5 If you say key goodness
Chapter VI Future Confectionery Book
Outline of < publication>
“Gion Kagizen Confectionary”
■Release Date: Saturday, December 11, 2021
■List price: 3,850 yen (tax included)
■Publisher: Sekai Bunka Books Co., Ltd.
■Published and released by World Culture Company Co., Ltd.
*Release dates vary depending on some bookstores