Trick-or-treating in Hokkaido
Did you know that the history of trick-or-treating at Halloween in North America was not so long? It started about in 1930, while Halloween itself has a long history of more than 2000 years. As you may know that, it’s just recently that Halloween became widely known in Japan. The Halloween parade in Tokyo Disney Land has started since 1997, and the event is said to trigger the boom. I don’t mean to brag, but we, Hokkaido people, are forerunners about trick-or-treating. Although it’s not related to Halloween, trick-or-treating is a summer tradition in Hokkaido since the late 1800s.
Even now, in August (at the end of short summer in Hokkaido), you can hear kids singing “Give us candles, give us candles” from somewhere at neighbors’ doors. I don’t know why that is, but we are supposed to say “candles” not “candies.” People moving from the outside of Hokkaido sometimes give candles as told and disappoint kids a lot. As such, today I’m going to introduce Hokkaido sweets before getting down to a story about our furniture.
Chocolate with a Hokkaido specialty in it
For your information, such candies as shown in the above image are not treated in the give-us-candles. The brand name of those high-class chocolates is RAMS. It’s a confectionary company continuing more than 90 years in our hometown, Asahikawa. The feature of RAMS is its ingredients. Every piece contains a local specialty material. Let me introduce four pieces in the above image: local-made blue cheese in the blue one; local sake in the polygon-shape one; caramel made from local pear in the yellow one; local-made honey in the square one. In addition, Hokkaido is the biggest milk production area in Japan, with no shortage of fresh milk for chocolate making.
They are not cheap, but I sometimes buy them as a gift because they make a good story to talk about. In other words, they are story-based, the same as our furniture. The best example is this lounge chair, TACK, in the above image. It’s designed by a local designer, and we make it here using ash wood sourced locally.
He is travelling around the world. His passion is to explain Japan to the world, from the unique viewpoint accumulated through his career: overseas posting, MBA holder, former official of the Ministry of Finance.
Photo Credit: https://www.tsuboya.net/rams/