Children are the stars of the festival. Even children, who are usually forbidden to buy food and drink, are allowed to buy sweet treats from the food stalls on this day. It is literally a day of celebration. At the Kashima Shrine in Ooi, which I visited on the day, children's excitement was also evident among the stalls lined up in a row. A girl in the square in front of the Kaguraden (shrine music hall), where festival music was being played, was also excitedly biting cotton candy.
I had seen cotton candy sold also in Nepal, but for some reason, I had always assumed that it originated in Japan. Perhaps it was because I had seen it sold at festivals since I was a child. But the birthplace of cotton candy was neither Nepal nor Japan. It was in the U.S. In 1897, a confectioner named John C. Wharton and William Morrison, a dentist who also worked as an inventor, collaborated to create a cotton candy machine. The machine was brought to Japan in the late Meiji and Taisho periods, and it quickly became popular.
Incidentally, there was a time when it was called "Denki Ame" (electric candy), perhaps because it was made with an electric machine. It is more interesting to call it "electro candy" than "cotton candy," as it is full of retro-futurism.
|Jan 2023 PEOPLE TOKYO|
|FESTIVAL GIRL OOI SWEETS|
January 19, 2023
August 9, 2023
SONY ALPHA 7R II
ZEISS BATIS 2/40 CF