@87 days until Hiroshima Summit: Momiji Manju

by Tomohiro Nagai, Staff Writer

Momiji Manju, one of Hiroshima’s most well-known sweets, originated on Miyajima Island in Hatsukaichi City. It is said its production began in the late Meiji period (1868-1912) when an innkeeper requested confectioner Tsunesuke Takatsu to create a bun in the shape of a maple leaf as a nice souvenir for their guests.

In the late Showa period (1926-1989), Momiji Manju became nationally famous when Yoshichi Shimada of the comic duo B&B used “Momiji Manju!” as his signature phrase. The most common type is a sponge cake filled with strained red bean paste, but there are a wide variety of fillings including cream and chocolate.

There are currently 14 Momiji Manju manufacturers on the island, half of which are family-run stores on the shopping street. Visitors can enjoy freshly deep-fried Momiji Manju at these stores.

(Originally published on February 21, 2023)