Japanese Professor Raises Funds to Relive Heian-Era Sweeteners

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Japanese Professor Raises Funds to Relive Heian-Era Sweeteners

In Japan, sugar only arrived in 754 by envoys of the Tang Chinese dynasty, effectively making it available only to the aristocracy. Only in the Edo era (1603-1868) could sugar be distributed in general. As an alternative to this limitation a sweetener called Amazura was used during the Heian era (794-1185), whose use appears frequently in ancient literature such as The Pillow Book, Konjaku Monogatarishu, and Uji Shui Monogatari. Amazura is used starting by spilling it on shaved ice or potato soup.

Japanese Professor Raises Funds to Relive Heian-Era Sweeteners
Sei Shonagon's quote regarding Amazura

Ritsumeikan University Assistant Professor Yukihiro Komatsu, a member of the Ritsumeikan Global Innovation Research Organization, since 2019 he has been trying to recreate Amazura for modern times. It's not easy to see the list of raw materials and production methods used to make Amazura all disappear from written records after sugar became more widely available since the Edo era. [post_ads]

To achieve its goals, Komatsu has enlisted public support at Bluebacks Outreach, a crowdfunding site that aims to bridge scientific questions with topics of public interest. He will raise until March 20, but by the time the article was written, the project had secured 161 percent of its original goal. For different levels of monetary support, supporters can see their names printed in a special thank you newsletter, a set of candy and syrup made from its Amazura which is about to be remade, or even the opportunity to take part in the celebrations of the Heian period along with a lecture on food culture at the time. planned for early 2022.

The Komatsu project going forward will consist of continuing to research ancient records for clues and analyzing plant samples to investigate the most accurate ingredients and method of manufacture of this sweetener. [post_ads_2]

Japanese Professor Raises Funds to Relive Heian-Era Sweeteners

Komatsu has sampled more than 20 plants containing high sucrose sap and will continue to analyze these samples in more depth. Promising candidates for the amazura base include Parthenocissus tricuspidata, commonly called Boston sweet, grape sweet, or Japanese sweet, and Gynostemma pentaphyllum, also known as jiaogulan.

Japanese Professor Raises Funds to Relive Heian-Era Sweeteners
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