Shinise (VI): Hogetsudo
Marugame City, situated in the central-western part of Kagawa Prefecture (known as the Chusan region), has a rich history and cultural heritage. Originally established as a municipality in 1899, the city underwent several mergers and incorporations over the years. During the Edo period, Marugame thrived as a castle town ruled by the Marugame Domain, with Marugame Castle located on Mount Kame, resembling a turtle's shape.
The city is renowned for its traditional local products, including Marugame Uchiwa hand fans (accounting for 90% of national production), Sanuki Ichibancho bamboo-woven crafts with persimmon lacquered washi paper, and Aoki Stone, a granite mined from the Salt-Bursting Islands in Hiroshima.
Marugame offers various regional specialties such as peaches, Hassaku oranges, Kagawa Hon-Taka chili peppers, traditional sweets like Rokumanshoku, Wasanbon sugar, Oiri, Sanuki udon noodles, Boned chicken, Dozeu soup (made with loach fish), and Tsukina soup (a fictional creation inspired by lyrics from a song by Masashi Sada). In addition, the city preserves its culinary traditions with longstanding restaurants, confectionery shops, food stores, product companies, and sake breweries.
Hogetsudo—Founded in 1917
Amidst the bustling cityscape, a treasure awaits those seeking the essence of Marugame's culture and traditions. For over a century, Hogetsudo has stood as a revered confectionery shop since its establishment in 1917. Recognized as a registered tangible cultural property, this historic establishment continues to create traditional Japanese sweets using time-honored techniques, offering a taste of Marugame's rich confectionery heritage.
Reaching its remarkable milestone of 100 years in 2017, Hogetsudo flourishes amidst Marugame's captivating beauty. The splendid castle, serene Seto Inland Sea, and abundant cultural attractions serve as an inspiration for preserving and upholding traditional Japanese confections, thanks to the unwavering support of the local community.
As they embark on a new chapter, Hogetsudo contemplates how to bridge Marugame's illustrious heritage with the promising future that lies ahead. Their vision encompasses a thriving and evolving city, shaped by dedicated individuals, cherished artifacts, and innovative endeavors. Cherishing the unique lifestyle that has flourished in Marugame, deeply rooted in its natural surroundings, culture, and history, Hougetsudo endeavors to ensure a prosperous legacy for generations to come.
Driven by their love for Marugame and strong ties to the local community, Hogetsudo aims to convey the charm of Marugame, Kagawa, and Shikoku through their delectable confections. They aspire to become a company that embodies the sentiments and flavors unique to the region. From joyful celebrations to nostalgic reflections and the simplicity of everyday life, Hougetudou's confections cultivate an atmosphere of warmth and serve as a catalyst for engaging conversations. With these noble aspirations in mind, Hogetsudo continues their tireless dedication to the art of crafting exquisite sweets.
Hogetsudo offers a variety of traditional sweets from Kagawa, including "Oiri," "Marugame Oshiro Monaka," "Kyogoku-sama Marugame Wasanbon," and "Marugame Uchiwa Senbei." Legend has it that Marugame Oiri was originally created as an offering during a princess's ceremonial entrance to Marugame Castle around 1587. Even today, it remains a part of wedding ceremonies in certain regions of Kagawa Prefecture. These crispy snacks are made from glutinous rice, coated with mizuame (a sweet syrup), sugar, food coloring, and flavorings, resulting in an irresistible crunchy texture.
Marugame is renowned for its uchiwa fans, and the Marugame Uchiwa Senbei takes on the shape of these traditional fans. Crafted by wagashi shops, they consistently receive rave reviews, showcasing their delicious quality. They come in various flavors, such as strawberry and cocoa. Lastly, the Chai Wasanbon is a delightful treat infused with a blend of spices that adds a subtle aromatic taste.
Address: 16 Komeyacho, Marugame, Kagawa
photo from: https://hougetudou.com/