Three years into the Summer Siege of Osaka (Osaka natsunojin),
Ieyasu Tokugawa, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate,
died at the age of 75. That same year,
William Shakespeare also passed away at the age of 52.
One year later, in 1617,
a Kyo-gashi (Kyoto-style pastry) shop opened in Kyoto-teramachi.
It was called “Kameyajihei.”
The stars of that age, which Galileo Galilei was
observing through his telescope when he was 53 years old,
are still shining, just as “Kameyajihei,”
renamed “Kameyakinoyaga,” continues,
even now, to give off a little light of its own.
This year, “Kameyakinoyaga” becomes 400 years old.
Flowers fade, people come and go
and many months and years have passed,
yet we will keep the little light inherited from our ancestors and
continue creating happiness through our Kyo-gashi.
After Commander Perry visited Uraga, Japan in 1853,
the country was explosively westernized. Interestingly,
it was also the year when a famous painter, Vincent Van Gogh, was born in Holland.
Van Gogh learned the Japanese painting technique of Ukiyoe and created many masterpieces.
This happy fusion of Japanese and Western culture is a gift from our ancestors
who persevered, free spiritedly, through the unknown world.
To show respect for their adventure and bravery,
we created a Kameyakiyonaga 400th anniversary treat,
incorporating the sense of the west in the tradition of Japan.
Flowering Orchards is a series of paintings of Vincent van Gogh painted in Arles in which he applied the perspective of Ukiyoe. Inspired by works in which blooming fruits and sprouting trees were colorfully and vividly painted, we made a bite-sized Youkan with dried fruits (apricots and figs). It has a new taste evoked by the beautiful orchards in France and a challenge to embody the idea of a “Japanese spirit combined with Western learning.”
We used “Apricot Trees in Bloom,” one of the Flowering Orchards by Vincent van Gogh, for the package of “SHOU Anzu(apricot).” For “SHOU Ichijiku(fig),” we used “Fig Tree at Kervaudu” by Ferdinand du Puigaudeau. Ferdinand was a painter in France and was active around the same time of Vincent van Gogh.
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