The Japanese confectionery business Tohoen, which has been making sweets for more than a century, has come out with some pretty unique candy in time for Valentine’s Day. Instead of your typical hearts, these candies all have a COVID-19 theme.
Tohoen wrote on its site, “Our duty is to be able to offer you sweets that embody the essence and flavor of each season. For example, the snow on a pine tree in winter or the popular cherry blossoms in spring, fireworks and fireflies in the summer, and fallen leaves and chestnuts in autumn are themes we will express in our desserts.”
So for the season (year?) of COVID, there’s a strawberry bean paste mochi styled after Amabie, a yokai who fights sickness. There’s a manju with red bean paste to symbolize ventilation, a yokan roll with red bean paste that encourages social distancing, a lemon-flavored candy with the image of a mask on it, and a yuzu yokan roll reminding you to wash your hands.
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, and its sequel, Manga Art for Intermediates, with professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.