With Christmas coming, a hankering for sweets quickly approaches with it. While some prefer candy canes and peppermint mochas, there also is the craving for unique Japanese sweets. One that may come to the forefront of our minds is the Sakuma Drop. This candy is boxed up in an old-fashioned little tin box and filled with hard drops of goodness. We instantly recognize this strategically placed candy from the 1988 film Hotaru no Haka (Grave of the Fireflies), easily making these delicious candies a mouth-watering treat that fills us with warmth but is accompanied by a twinge of sadness.
History of Sakuma Drops
Sakuma Drops have been a long-loved treat in Japan since their inception in 1908. While these candies were traditionally made in Japan since the Meiji period, they were not coined Sakuma Drops until they were popularized by Sakuma Seika, a candy company based in Ikebukuro, Tokyo in 1908. This candy has remained largely unchanged since its 1908 release. They still come in their little tin can with only the pictures on the can changing throughout the years. This nostalgic candy has been beloved by Japanese for many years and is spreading its popularity around the world with the release of the popular Studio Ghibli film, Hotaru no Haka (Grave of the Fireflies). With just a little shake from a small child’s hand, the clanking in the tin can give hope that there are many more delightful moments that will be attributed to the Sakuma Drop.
Sakuma Drops in Anime
Sakuma Drops are rarely seen in anime outside of Hotaru no Haka (Grave of the Fireflies). However, their presence is widely known and referenced throughout the film. For those of you who haven’t seen it, Hotaru no Haka is a film about the World War II bombings in Japan. It focuses on two Japanese siblings, Seita and Setsuko who have lost their family and are trying their best to survive in a war-torn country. While the subject matter is dark and the focus on disease and death is widely shown, certain aspects of the close relationship of the siblings and their journey to survive make it so you can’t help but smile. Sakuma Drops are a candy that is loved by Setsuko and brings a little bit of light to this otherwise depressing film.
While Sakuma Drops are loved in Japan, they are relatively unknown to the rest of the world. This delicious and nostalgic candy, outfitted in an old-fashioned tin is a candy that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. We hope that this article has taught you a little more about Sakuma Drops and has encouraged you to try them. If you have had them already, then maybe you learned a bit more or just enjoyed this article. As always, if you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them in the comments section below. We always love to hear feedback on our articles.