Rakugaki Senbei – Festival Food and Fun
Earlier this year as I visited the festival in Yoshiwara I was reminded of the rakugai senbei I saw at the Mishima festival (not far away at all) about a year earlier. They are a slightly rare sight at most festivals, but always fun to watch and very popular with kids! The senbei is a flat sweet rice cake, and the rakugaki means graffiti, or drawings. The kids draw their own designs on the flat cakes in gum syrup, very sweet, and when they are done the girl (it’s almost always a girl) will take them and add sweet and sour sparkly powder to the wet and sticky paint. Most kids love it! Absolutely not very healthy and not very cheap either, but what parents could resist giving their kid a chance to do this? You can see some of the expert example designs made before hand. Most kids aren’t quite there in their artistic ability yet!