Omachi Shitemasu Shitamachi Wagashi Kurimarudou Manga Review お待ちしてます 下町和菓子 栗丸堂

Omachi Shitemasu Shitamachi Wagashi Kurimarudou comes from a novel
by Nitori Kouichi and illustrated by Wamizu.
But I will review the 2015 manga, illustrated by Shinoda Masaki.
The title can be described “We will be waiting for you at Downtown
Japanese Confectionery, Kurimarudou”.
Kurimarudou is the name of wagashi or Japanese confectionery shop here.
And Kuri is the family name of the protagonist, Kurita Jin.
I will make it short as Kurimarudou in this post.

As you have known, I like Japanese culture since child.
I love reading manga, watching anime, playing console RPG and otome games.
From there, I learnt Japanese language by myself.
I’m not at N level, never have a test, but I’m proud of my Japanese skill.
There was a time, a Japanese young man asked me to play with him
(you can say it’s a nanpa ナンパ) when I was watching Osaka Dotonbori’s riverside.
When he knew I’m not Japanese, we talked a bit more and he wished me happiness.
I think my Japanese skill level is average for daily use to understand that.
Oh right, the story is out of topic.
Novel illustrated by Wamizu-sensei.
It depicted a warm hearted story.
I have translated a few mangas before, just as I have wrote on profile.
It is not exaggerating.
Because now, I will post one of my translation.
I have never a part of translating group.
So there is no proofreading.
And English is not my daily language, so I often made wrong grammars.
Too bad I couldn’t find any raw scans.
So the final decision to translate with a paper between pages.
Do let me know if someone have this raw and need my translation as basic.
Because I’m too scared to break my mangas and I don’t have scanner.
The manga comes from more than 6 volumes novel.
I don’t know the exact number though.
But this manga only has 3 volumes, so the story is an open ending.
In some manga site, there is a different manga too.
I don’t know about that I can’t find any description online.
This 2015 manga by Shinoda Masaki is the only thing I can find
on Google or online seller site.
So I bought it.
This is the different manga.
Upon looking at the first chapter, it have the same scene as the manga I bought.
But I don’t know how many chapter / volume are out there.
Is it more than Shinoda Masaki’s manga?
I will post SPOILER below.
So for people who wish to read it themselves, please don’t read this.
BOOK 1
In this book, we get to know about Kurimarudou
and what is the theme of this story.
Kurimarudou is a well-established wagashi shop in downtown Asakusa.
It links people together through confectionery.
The two protagonists will help people achieve their happiness
by eating the sweets they made.
Every problem can be resolved well
and every person has stories.
In Kurimarudou, the protagonist’s name is Kurita Jin.
He is the sole heir and wagashi maker of this shop and runs business with Nakano Jou and Shiho.
Kurita seems skillfull at the wagashi shape.
Meanwhile, Nakano Jou is only a young seller who came only three years ago.
He couldn’t even create a shape of camellia.
Here, Aoi unconsciously found Kurimarudou.
By the sentences, we know Kurimarudou was found in Meiji era.
The first chapter, Kurita couldn’t create Kurimarudou’s famous item,
Mame Daifuku, like it was in the old days.
Kurita didn’t want to inherit the shop, but he felt his parents accepted
his decision too easily.
He’s mad and go to college rather than making wagashi.
But then, his parents died by accident.
It made him work again at wagashi shop because he doesn’t want it to disappear.
Upon getting depressed by the old customer, Tanabe-san,
who said his Mame Daifuku is different,
Kurita came to meet the Master at a cafe he often visited.
Master introduces a girl who wants to help him,
called “The Lady of Wagashi”, Houjou Aoi.
But in this volume, we didn’t know her family name.
When meeting Aoi, Kurita doesn’t know she is one year older than him.
It makes Aoi 20 years old now.
To build relationship, Master asked them to take a stroll.
So Kurita brought Aoi to Asakusa street and the famous Kaminarimon.
Aoi is a unique young lady.
That’s what Kurita thought of her at first.
She often babbling about mysterious things and puts herself
in someone’s situation.
Aoi is busy helping people then brings Kurita with her.
Aoi read Kaminarimon as Raimon.
Now, after here, Kurita demonstrated his cooking red bean paste’s skill.
By that, Aoi could give suggestion to Kurita about why his Mame Daifuku
is different than his parents originally made.
It makes Kurita shocked by her ability.
This is my way to translate since I don’t have digital file.
If it is a raw scans picture, I can erase the kanji and put romaji instead.
Translating about wagashi is the hardest part of it.
I have zero knowledge of it and mostly they have difficult vocabularies.
So I took sometimes to Google it, such as sashimizu.
Most part of how they could resolve a problem dwells in Aoi’s explanation.
She understands anything about wagashi so well.
So now it’s confirmed that Tanabe-san only made stories about his persimmon memories.
But he really loves Kurimarudou’s Mame Daifuku and wants to help Kurita.
Because he and Yagami Yuka, Kurita’s childhood friend who works as magazine writer,
realizes the store is not doing so well compared to the old days.
They wanted to create a post of Kurimarudou by making stories.
Kurita doesn’t approve of it though.
He wants Yuka to write the truth after he has done creating delicious wagashi.
After story about Tanabe-san, Kurita meets his other childhood rival and friend.
His name is Asaba Ryou, a rich man who owned Asaba Factory.
Asaba invited Kurita to his ex-college together when there is a festival.
Here, Asaba claimed he doesn’t like wagashi and how Kurita is absent from college to make it.
Aoi is searching of some way to make Asaba like wagashi again.
Asaba likes Western sweets but not Japanese sweets.
By going to a contest about wagashi knowledge with Kurita,
they got Dainagon, a great quality red bean.
The contest is such a drag to me.
There are many things to search on Google.
You can right click and open in new tab to zoom my handwriting.
Sorry if my handwriting is bad.
I didn’t proofread and wrote it in such a hurry to finish it quickly.
After that, the two of them goes back to where Asaba is and started making wagashi.
And here it is!
Asaba made Dorayaki with the help of Aoi and Kurita.
He likes it so much.
The next story, is about Kurita’s neighbor, Sumino Koharu.
She had a bad relationship with her father, a rickshaw driver.
Her father never understands her, as far as thinking Koharu likes Wasanbon.
The truth is, Koharu never like the hard and bland Wasanbon.
Kurita and Aoi made those daughter and father eat a Rakugan,
similar to Wasanbon but cheaper.
It used to describe how the father thinks he knows everything better for Koharu,
but actually is not.
The same as Wasanbon and Rakugan.
Most people thinks they are the same, but actually different.
In the end of volume 1, we can see Kurita and Aoi ride the old man’s rickshaw.
There’s something have been budging Kurita after that.
Aoi got her freedom when riding rickshaw and rising her hands.
Can you see something that will be explained in the last book?
Aoi likes theatre and Manzaiha (stand up comedy).
So she made a pun from her name.
Because Aoi here can mean “blue” and “look up”.
BOOK 2
Book 2 is maybe not as important as book 1 and 3.
But in the last story, we know Aoi’s family name.
Book 2 is started of a father and son.
Okonogi-san, who has lost his wife, needs Kaminari Okoshi for his son.
He is regretting what he have done.
By only working and made his wife and son live alone without him
until his wife died.
His son turns to a brat who doesn’t respect his father.
Remembering his wife’s last sentence, that Kaminari Okoshi will
make the son happy, Okonogi-san is searching all Asakusa.
But turns out it is not Kaminari Okoshi.
By hearing Osaka’s dialect from the son, Aoi and Kurita makes Awa Okoshi instead.
At some times, Aoi gets nanpa by some high school student.
The person who helped her is Asaba.
By meeting Asaba again, Aoi and him became close.
They meet Kurita because Asaba needs his skill to help Kaede,
Asaba Ryou’s younger sister.
Kaede failed a college entrance exam and couldn’t eat.
As her sibling, Asaba Ryou remembered her favorite food is Sakura Mochi.
He asked Kurita to create it.
Of course Kurita accepted Asaba’s request because he also needs new product in store.
But to make Sakura Mochi, Kurita needs pickled sakura leaves.
He can’t make it because it needs half a year to make pickles.
In the end, Aoi introduced him to her sakura leaves factory in Izu,
together with Asaba who is driving his car.
Every factory worker gives a warm welcome to their ojou-sama (lady).
In the end, with Sakura Mochi, Kaede can eat again.
Kurita created a pink and white, Kouhaku Sakura Mochi.
Both Kurita and Asaba were glad.
Also, the new item is pretty popular at Kurimarudou.
BOOK 3
Book 3 is opened by Asaba and Kurita.
Asaba now knows of Aoi’s family of Houjou.
She is the daughter of famous Wagashi Maker in Akasaka,
the Akasaka Hououdou / Phoenix Hall.
Asaba told Kurita to reveal his feelings to Aoi soon.
After that, Kurita and Yuka went to a local anmitsu shop, Anmitsu Nakamura.
Nakamura shop is now maintained by a single old man and his granddaughter, Akane.
But he couldn’t create the same anmitsu as his wife, who already passed away.
By asking Akane, Kurita and Aoi found out that the kuromitsu syrup
needs to be made with Okinawa’s Hateruma Island brown sugar.
Lots to study about making anmitsu.
After watching Aoi and Asaba together, Kurita becomes jealous.
But at the same time, Aoi gives a konpeitou to him.
It is a konpeitou she made with Asaba to be given to Kurita.
Kurita is so happy receiving some gifts from his friend.
But turns out the way of making konpeitou is long.
They need to wait for days so konpeitou can take shape.
And Aoi introduced Kurita to the konpeitou maker, Kaneshige.
This maker shows both of them his dora.
Dora can means gong, but this is a tool for heating konpeitou.
But Kaneshige told them, he have a son, Shinobu, who won’t help.
He’s been thinking about his late father.
When he asked making konpeitou is already outdated,
Kaneshige’s father made a sad face.
His father was wondering if the cute konpeitou would disappear from this world.
The lost word is on the next page, but Kaneshige’s father said “A world where an adorable things like konpeitou disappeared is lonely.”
At some time, Kurita meets Asaba.
He almost punch Asaba, but actually not.
Asaba thinks Kurita is jealous of him.
But Kurita only says thanks for the konpeitou.
Though again, Asaba tells him to quickly confess to Aoi.
Because Asaba begins to have feelings for her after she has helped Kaede.
Now, Kurita is serious.
All this time, Kaneshige had been thinking that Shinobu is only playing around.
But actually, Shinobu had a tough days driving to Kyoto
so he can learn about coloring konpeitou with natural ingredients.
The one he made is from grapes, because Kaneshige have heart disease.
While making the grape konpeitou with Shinobu, Kaneshige saw them.
He remembered of his father who is wondering if konpeitou disappear.
But by eating Shinobu’s konpeitou, Kaneshige is sure that konpeitou won’t disappear.
He approved his son to create a delicious konpeitou and spread it around the world.
Now is the story of Aoi.
She was a wagashi maker since child.
But her hand got hurt and she couldn’t force it anymore.
So she only give advice to wagashi making, to Kurita by chance.
Aoi thinks her job is now done at Kurimarudou so she should not come back anymore.
But Kurita says she can come anytime.
Kurita almost confess to Aoi, but he gets a phone call from Nakano Jou.
It seems his shop is selling well after Sanja Matsuri in Asakusa.
So the ending is open like that.
We don’t know if Kurita can confess to Aoi, or Aoi will accept or not.
Of course I need some spoiler from novel please…
“I like you” only comes out in his heart…
Oh right.
We have an extra story about Aoi and Kurita’s date.
Kurita is busy creating a new wagashi for each season and can’t sleep well.
So everyone at the shop asked Aoi to bring him outside.
But he couldn’t release his stress.
A neighbor asked if they are on a date, then Aoi said yes.
It helps Kurita to realize they are alone together.
He takes a refreshing at zoo and enjoys it well.
Aoi is glad, saying he don’t need to rush creating new wagashi.
Because she will be there to try if he ever make a prototype.
Overall, the story is very heart warming.
I have been wondering why a heart warming story like this is rarely get translated nowadays.
The story about wagashi and the history of it is interesting for me.
I get to know a lot from this manga.
I hope it will be made as an anime.
I like stories like this and reminds me of old memories.
The one anime I also recommend with similar kind of feeling is
Kyoto Teramachi Sanjou no Holmes.
It’s more of a detective story, but the atmosphere is a shopping district.
After watching Ariyoshi-kun no Shoujiki Sanpo,
who often goes to shopping district or shoutengai, I begin to like them.
A shopping district in Japan is old-fashioned and full of old people too.
But they have cheerful energy and historical works.
So, I will be waiting for Downtown Wagashi Kurimarudou.
Well, it means I’m waiting for another story like Kurimarudou.
I hope more interesting stories like this will get anime or dorama adaptation.
Because nowadays, I only get to see supernatural or detective story.

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