A wonderful souvenir of Fukuoka

Josuian, a long-established sweets manufacturer

When the Sengoku period, which encompassed Japan’s largest civil war, ended in the early 17th century, the feudal lord Kanbei Kuroda retired and left the governance of Fukuoka to his son. Kanbei changed his name of Josui after his retirement. Josuian, a long-established sweets manufacturer that shares a close connection with the Kuroda family came to use “Josui” in its company name. Josuian has a factory in Koga, Fukuoka Prefecture. In March of this year, the company headquarters also relocated here. The company has 26 retail stores primarily in the suburbs of Fukuoka City and also sells its products at train stations and roadhouses. Visitors to Fukuoka are sure to encounter a Josuian shop somewhere in the city.

Masami Mori, the previous president of Josuian, passionately wanted to produce a confection that evoked the history of the old Fukuoka feudal domain. In 1951, he paid a visit to Nagamichi Kuroda, the 14th-generation descendent of Kanbei Kuroda. Moved by Mori’s passion, Kuroda showed him a roof tile featuring the fujidomoe, the wisteria icon that forms the family crest of the Kuroda clan. Mori took the crest and used it to create one of Josuian’s top products: monaka kuroda-gojunimangoku. To ensure that the confection tasted superb, he was extremely particular about the salt, water, and red beans that are its raw ingredients. Making sweets that are beautiful and good for one’s health can be likened to Kanbei Kuroda (Josui), who put all his energies into creating a world of peace, in the sense that it contributes to the peace of the family and the world. Josuian’s confectionary is imbued with such sentiments.

Another of the company’s trademark products is tsukushi mochi, a sweet that is emblematic of Fukuoka and one that has won the Monde Selection’s top award, the gold award, for seven years running. As the current company president, KoJiro Mori explains, “I so missed the flavor of the kinako mochi that my grandmother made for me when I was a child. This inspired me, and I developed tsukushi mochi as a product.”

The kinako powder (soybean powder) used for tsukushi mochi is made from high quality peeled soybeans and fills your mouth with a burst of aroma each time you eat the confection. This is an elegant confection that can also be enjoyed with kuromitsu sugar syrup according to one’s personal taste and makes a wonderful souvenir of Fukuoka.