Daifuku (大福)

Daifuku is a traditional Japanese confectionary consisting of mochi (rice cake) filled with anko (sweet bean paste) made from azuki beans. It is also known as daifuku-mochi.

Smooth mochi is used, and the amount of anko is often equal to or more than that of mochi. Daifuku are often coated with edible powder.

There are also many variations, such as those whose mochi contains yomogi (mugwort) or beans and those which are filled with strawberry or custard cream instead of anko.

Although daifuku are normally eaten as-is, they can also be roasted or added to sweet bean soup as desired. When daifuku are made at home, it is recommended to add sugar to the mochi because sugar can prevent the mochi from becoming hard. However, be careful not to add too much sugar because it can spoil the overall taste of the daifuku. Commercially available daifuku manufactured at factories also have the same tendency.

Daifuku are said to have originally been called daifuku-mochi or harabuto-mochi, both written with Chinese characters meaning 'large belly rice cake', because the feeling of fullness lasts a long time. However, the characters were changed to mean 'large happiness rice cake', also pronounced daifuku-mochi, to bring good luck.

Mame-daifuku:

Daifuku whose mochi contains peas or soya beans.

Kusa-daifuku:

Daifuku whose mochi contains mugwort. The mugwort turns the mochi green.

Shio-daifuku:

Daifuku whose mochi and/or anko contains salt. Originally, salt was used for flavoring instead of sugar. Now, only a moderate amount of salt is used with sugar.

Shiomame-daifuku:

A combination of shio-daifuku and mame-daifuku.

Ichigo-daifuku:

Daifuku whose anko contains strawberries. Variations include those filled with strawberries only, those filled with strawberries and fresh cream, and those filled with strawberries and white anko. Several traditional Japanese confectionary stores claim to be the inventor of Ichigo-daifuku, including ones in Sumiyoshi-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo; Maebashi City, Gunma Prefecture; Tsu City, Mie Prefecture; Iga City, Mie Prefecture; Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture; and Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture.

The confectionary store in Sumiyoshi-cho became famous after word of it was spread by high school girls who got off at the nearby Akebonobashi subway station to participate in the recording of a television program named "Yuyake-nyannyan" at Fuji Television (which at the time was located in Kawada-cho, Shinjuku-ku). Other fruit daifuku include chestnut daifuku, orange daifuku, peach daifuku, melon daifuku, and blueberry daifuku.

Ume-daifuku:

Daifuku containing plum compote instead of anko.

Daifuku whose mochi contains plum juice and shiso (perilla).

Coffee daifuku, Cafe au lait daifuku:

Daifuku with coffee-flavored anko. Variations include those with fresh cream.

Mont Blanc daifuku:

Daifuku containing chestnut cream instead of anko.

Crème caramel daifuku:

Daifuku containing caramel custard cream instead of anko.

Tiramisu daifuku:

Daifuku in which coffee-flavored mochi is filled with tiramisu cream.

Shio-anbin:

Daifuku flavored with salt instead of sugar. Shio-anbin has been eaten for a long time in the northern part of Saitama Prefecture.

Custard daifuku:

Daifuku containing custard cream instead of anko.

Race for daifuku:

A race held at school sports days. It is a daifuku version of the race for the bun, in which runners need to eat Daifuku. Instead of buns hanging on a string, daifuku are concealed in a box filled with flour and runners need to search for and eat daifuku using only their mouths.

The term "daifuku" is sometimes used as a term to refer to round white items.
Example: Daifuku Mac (iMac)

Music associated with daifuku

Shiawase daifuku (sung by Sansaro)

The song was broadcast in the NHK TV program "Minna-no-uta" from December, 2007 to January, 2008.

Characters associated with daifuku

Daifuku-san

Daifuku-san is Daifuku-mochi which is made everyday at "Daifuku-honpo", a long-standing third-generation downtown Japanese confectionary store.

His friends are 'Kusamochi-kun,' 'Ichigo-daifuku-chan,' and 'Kinako-mochi-kun.'
He has a younger twin brother named 'Tsubu-daifuku,' who is filled with tsubu-anko (anko with lager pieces of bean).

A cartoon called 'Daifuku-san,' which can be viewed on Yahoo! Video is very popular.