Friday, February 8, 2013

Sakuma drops

Ikebukuro meibutsu

We're experiencing "haru ichiban" today - the super strong, cold wind that whips through before spring. With a dry throat, I went in search of throat lozenges at the local drug store and found these lovely, retro fruit drops.

If you've seen the very beautiful, very sad Ghibli movie "Grave of the Fireflies", set during WWII, you'll recognise the tin: these are the hard fruit candies that the little girl Setsuko loves. Later, the tin plays a very significant part in the movie. I highly recommend the film, but you'll need a lot of tissues!

One side features Setsuko from Hotaru no Haka

The company, Sakuma Seika, sometimes releases commemorative tins like this one. They've been making Sakuma Drops in Ikebukuro since 1908 so I think at just ¥100, it's an excellent souvenir of Tokyo!

The company's website (here) has some nice images of the history of the packaging design. The product itself has remained pretty much the same and it seems to be the only product Sakuma Seika makes. They're not so popular these days - with so many chocolate options and crazy flavours - but the sound of the candies rattling around in the tin must be very nostalgic for many people. I hope they continue to make them.

The graphics have changed a little over the years, but they still come in a tin.


  1. Hi,
    Sakuma candies are very much nostalgic sweets especially for people my age. I still remember the sound when I shook a can.
    I watched that animation in a movie theater. Sakuma candies played an important and symbolic role in the story. I also needed a lot of tissues.

  2. I LOVE tins - which surprisingly I have very few of! The movie sounds like a must see. Thanks.