Farewell To Iconic 114-Year-Old Japanese Candy 'Sakuma's Drop'
Say farewell to iconic 114-year-old Japanese candy Sakuma's drop. Sakumaseika Co., a candy company in Tokyo best known for its famous Sakuma's Drops, which were featured in the hit anime movie Grave of the Fireflies, has decided to close on January 20, 2019. Netizens are mourning the loss of this popular candy.
Goodbye Sakuma's Drop
Iconic Japanese confection that survived WWII discontinued after 114 years
The company said on November 8 that it hadn't raised the price of its famous hard candy in years, even though production costs had gone up, there was a shortage of workers, and sales had gone down.
The spread of COVID-19 and more price spikes only made the 114-year-old company's financial problems worse. NHK, a public broadcaster in Japan, said that Sakumaseika had a net loss of more than 151 million yen (S$1.4 million) in the fiscal year that ended in September 2021.
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The company will still be around to handle payments and other tasks that don't have to do with making or selling candy. Here are some of the comments found in the comment section of the video:
As a Japanese-American, hearing this news hurts as this was my grandfathers favorite candy ever since he was a kid. He would always have about 10 cans in his pantry and everytime I visit him as a kid, he'd give me a couple to keep without my mom looking. He died 6 years ago and I still miss him...now I'm sad to see his favorite candy and the epitome of my childhood memories are going to die off too
- Yesnog05, a YouTube user
The second comment reads:
I buy whenever I see this selling on my local shop. My issue is once it open the candies will turn to sticky from oxidation, I think that's why need to put inside tin can. And I always never close it properly. Broo this candy is iconic. Someone relate petition to help the company.
- Cleodux, a YouTube user
Another comment from the user shared its sadness after knowing that Sakuma's Drop will no longer be available. He said:
My grandma had one last can of these she saved, she gave me a few every now and them. She passed away about 6 years ago, and Hotaru no Haka really solidified this candy in my mind. It's sad news that they're discontinuing such a popular candy.
- Victor Jun, a YouTube user
Twitter Shared Happy Recollections Of Sakuma's Drop
Since the news came out, Japanese netizens have been saddened by the loss of the popular Sakuma's Drops candy. They have shared their favorite memories of the candy and have even rushed to nearby candy stores to buy a tin.
When I was a kid, Sakuma's Drops was something I longed for. It took a long time for me to buy it, and I vividly remember the smell when I finally picked it up and opened the round lid.
- Twitter user in Japan
Some people said that they are sad that they won't be able to hear the Japanese candy any more because it will no longer be made. Some people also mentioned the depressing animation Grave of the Fireflies, which Sakumaseika once released on special packaging.One user said, "Seeing this reminds me of Grave of the Fireflies and makes me cry!"
Sakumaseika produced Sakuma's Drops through World War II air attacks after developing the sweet in 1908. Studio Ghibli, a famous anime company, used this as inspiration for its 1988 movie about two orphaned children trying to survive after their house is bombed during World War II.
One of the children carries a red can of Sakuma's Drops, which is one of the few things they have left after their house is destroyed. The red tin is important in the film, which popularized a common trick summarized by one Twitter user: "When I ran out of candies when I was a kid, I put water in the can and let it rinse well, then drank the water inside."
Studio Ghibli posted a picture of the iconic red tin on Twitter on Wednesday as a tribute. Fans of the movie responded with more sad tweets. Let's take a look at the movie that featured this popular Japanese confectionery.
Grave of the Fireflies - Official Trailer
A Sakumaseika representative said that the company had been having trouble with the cost of raw materials and energy, as well as with hiring people. During its fiscal year, which ended in September last year, it had a net loss of 152 million japanese Yen or less than 2 million USD.
Still, it's not the end for those who love candy more than anything else. Even though they have the same name, Sakuma Confectionery Co. (or Sakuma Seika in Japanese) is a different company that split off from Sakumaseika after the war.
Sakuma Confectionery is still in business and will keep making its own Sakuma Drops, which come in a green tin instead of a red one. Kantaro Komiya, a Japanese journalist who is bilingual, lives in Tokyo, and works as an economic policy reporter for Reuters, wrote:
A tale of two candy cans - 'Sakuma’s Drops' will soon be discontinued as the maker Sakumaseika Co goes out of business, while Sakuma Drops' by Sakuma Confectionery Co carries on. 'Perhaps we tried harder to try new ways,' spokesperson at the latter told Reuters.'
- Kantaro Komiya