Wagashi no hi (the Day of Japanese Confectionery) (和菓子の日)
Epidemics prevailed across the nation during the Jowa era in the middle of the Heian period. Emperor Jinmei changed the era name to 'Kasho'. It is said that on June 16 in the first year of Kasho (848), 16 pieces of confectionery and rice cakes were prepared for a shrine offering and prayers were said for epidemic prevention and good health.
This is the origin of what is called the 'Kajo gashi' (Kajo cakes, where the term 'kajo' is an alternative reading for the era name Kasho) that is customarily eaten for epidemic prevention and good health on June 16. This custom continued to exist from the Heian period to medieval and premodern times, undergoing various changes.
The Zenkoku Wagashi Kyokai (Japan Wagashi Association) established the memorial day relating to this historical fact in order to make greater efforts to pass on Japanese food culture properly and actively to the next generations.