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What is Makoto Monaka cake?
1. What is Monaka?
You may think they are bean-jam-filled wafers. The bean jam is sweet. The color of bean jam is dark blue. The wafer is rather sweet. The color of wafer is orcherous. The surface of wafer is smooth. The shape of wafer is square or round. (Makoto Monaka cake is square.)
2. What is Makoto Monaka cake?
Makoto Monaka cake is made by a Japanese-style confectionery "Tsuruya" in Kyoto City. The confectionery is located in the south of the crossing of Boujou-Douri avenue and Shijou-Douri street. The Station of Shinsen-Gumi Company (Japanese word: Shinsen-Gumi Tonsho) was located there.
Shinsen-Gumi used a flag with a chinese character "cheng" which Japanese call Makoto.
The Monaka cake was named Makoto Monaka after the location of the confectionery.
3. What is Shinsen-Gumi Company?
Shinsen-Gumi Company is one of the most popular army in Japan. It consisted of hundreds of masterless swordsmen. It was formed in Kyoto in the last days of the Tokugawa Shogunate. It was sponsored and assisted by Katamori Matsudaira, a feudal lord of Aidu Clan. It supported the Shogunate. It took an active part in the Affair of Ikeda-Ya. However most of the company members died in battle when the Shogunate fell.
The commander of Shinsen-Gumi Company (Taichou) was Isami Kondou.
(Mr. Kondou was also called Souchou (English word: President).)
The vice-commander (Fukuchou) was Toshizou Hijikata.
The leader of the first squad (Ichi-Ban-Tai Kumichou), the assistant vice-commander (Fukuchou Jokin) was Souji Okita.
These three are very popular at present.
The leader of the third squad (San-Ban-Tai Kumichou), the assistant vice-commander (Fukuchou Jokin) was Hajime Saitou.
Hajime Saitou rises in popularity recently because he is described at Rurouni Kenshin, one of the most popular cartoons in Japan at present.
The number of the squad was ten.
The leader of the second squad (Ni-Ban-Tai Kumichou), the assistant vice-commander (Fukuchou Jokin) was Shinpachi Nagakura.
He wrote an autobiography titled "Shinsen-Gumi Tenmatsuki" in 1913.
You can read it by Shinjinbutsu-Ouraisha Edition. The publisher has its popular official homepage.
These two lived long to see the Taishou Era.
4. I want to know how to buy a Makoto Monaka.
If you live in USA, you must go to the Kansai International Airport (KIX).
You may go from the KIX to Kyoto City by the limited express "Kanku Tokkyu Haruka" of JR Nishinihon Company without changing.
Well, if you are at JR Kyoto Station at present, you must look for the Kyoto City Public Bus Terminal. JR Kyoto Station was rebuilt at 07/12/97. It is very large and new. You must get on a bus Route No. 28 bound for Daikakuji Temple. You must get off the bus at the bus stop Shijou-Boujou next to Shijou-Oumiya. You must go southward along Boujou-Douri avenue alley. If you go over a level crossing of Arashiyama Line of Keifuku Railway, you will find two Japanese-style confectioneries. Tsuruya is the southern one. You can buy Makoto Monaka cake there.
"Rurouni Kenshin": Copyright (c) Nobuhiro Watsuki/ Shueisha, Fuji Telecast, SPE Visual Works, 1996, 1997, 1998
"Makoto Monaka": Trademark (TM) Kyoto Tsuruya Confectionery
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