Kyogashi Sweets Design Contest
The winning works will be displayed at the “Palm-sized Nature – The Tale of Genji ” Exhibition 2018

Built on the former site of the Edo-period private school, Yuuhisai Koudoukan, the center for study and arts, is once again organizing a Kyogashi sweets exhibition.
This year's topic is “The Tale of Genji”.
Depending on the scene it is eaten, kyogashi is specially designed one by one. When we make certain themes and scenes into kyogashi, Japanese poetry has always played a big role.
The Tale of Genji is a full-length novel written by Murasaki Shikibu in the Heian period (around 1008). The Heian noble society is described through the main character of the novel, Hikarugenji. A thousand years from then, the novel still gives a big influence on Japanese culture.
We expect creative kyogashi designs, inspired by the Tale of Genji.

The Glamour of Kyogashi

With their roots in the ancient tradition of confectionery used in ceremonies and rituals of the Imperial Court, kyogashi (lit. “Kyoto sweets”) have developed as the sweets for tea with the prosperity of tea ceremony in the Edo period (1603 – 1868).
Made by skilled craftsmen out of carefully selected ingredients using only a few basic tools, kyogashi are almost like little works of art.
The form of kyogashi is usually quite abstract, filled with the essence of the seasons, reflecting the subtle changes of colours. They are given poetical names which trigger one's imagination.
It could be said that they are a crystallized form of Japanese aesthetics.

Contest details
Theme: The Tale of Genji

Kyogashi has been created, influenced by art and Japanese poetry.
We are expecting kyogashi designs full of sensitivity, inspired by The Tale of Genji.


Kyogashi Design Category:
Please submit a design concept. Chosen works will be turned into kyogashi by artisans and displayed at an exhibition.

Tea Ceremony Sweets Creator Category:
Please submit a photograph of your original tea confectionery (namagashi). The winners will be asked to provide their handmade sweets by September27th(Thursday) for judgment, October16th(Tuesday) for display at the exhibition.

Craft Confectionery Creator Category:
Please submit a photograph of your original kogei gashi (craft confectionery), or other sweets including higashi and so on. The winners will be asked to provide their handmade sweets by September27th(Thursday) for judgment, October16th(Tuesday) for display at the exhibition.


Kyogashi Design Category: Anyone interested in kyogashi, Tale of Genji, or Japanese poems.
Tea Ceremony Sweets Creator Category and Craft Confectionery Creator Category: Anyone who is able to make tea ceremony sweets or craft confectionery.

There are no limits on age, nationality or profession.

The Prize

The Jury

Application Dates

Submissions accepted from July 1st (Sunday) to August 31th (Friday), 2018

Application Process

  1. First round: Works will be selected from design concepts in the case of Kyogashi Design Category, or from photographs in the case of Tea Ceremony Sweets Creator Category and the Craft Confectionery Creator Category. The results will be announced on the website. The applicants of the winning works will be noticed by mail. All chosen works will be displayed at the “Palm-sized Nature – The Tale of Genji” Exhibition2018.
  2. Exhibition set up: The works from the Design Category will be made and set up by kyogashi artisans.Applicants from the Creator Categories (Tea Ceremony Sweets and Craft Confectionery) will be asked to deliver their works in person or by post. The contestants will be notified about the exact dates and other details.
  3. Second round: The jury will select the Grand Prize and the Award of Excellence from the works chosen from the first round. (For the Tea Ceremony Sweets Creator Category, there will be a tasting exam as well.)
  4. Award Ceremony: A ceremony will be held on the first day of the exhibition.

How to Apply

Application form: Please fill in the form from the flyer or print out the form from the official website of the “Palm-sized Nature – The Tale of Genji” Exhibition 2018 (this website).
Ways of application: For the Design Category, we accept applications by E-mail. For the Creator Category, we accept applications by post, or applications delivered in person. Applications by FAX are not accepted for any category.
Where to Apply: Please send the filled out application to the address or E-mail below. Applications cannot be returned.

Download of the application form. Please download from here.
Application Form(PDF)

Points of evaluation

The applicant's way of perceiving of Tale of Genji, ability to use the characteristic properties of kyogashi, while creating something original.
It is said, that kyogashi are to be “eaten with one's ears,” meaning that they are given poetical names. The jury will look at the correspondence between the name and the design and how they support each other.
How the design takes into consideration the primary function of sweets – to be eaten.


Only original works which have not been presented elsewhere (in Japan or abroad) are accepted.
Up to two works in total by each applicant will be accepted.
Works consisting of a group of two or more sweets cannot be submitted for the Kyogashi Design Category or Tea Ceremony Sweets Creator Category. They can only be accepted in the Craft Confectionery Creator Category.
During the exhibition, the works will be exchanged for fresh ones in case of discolouration or decay. Therefore, for the chosen works in the Creator Categories, the applicant will be asked to provide at least eight pieces for judgement, and fifteen pieces for the exhibition.
For the Design Category, the sweets for the exhibition will be made by a craftsman according to the design concept. The design of the actual sweet might be slightly changed due to technical reasons.
The applications cannot be returned. The personal information will be respected and will not be used for purposes other than the contest and exhibition.
The design concepts, application photographs and chosen works will become the intellectual property of Yuuhisai Koudoukan. They will be carefully stored by the foundation.
The organizer reserves the right to use the design and the applicant's names at Yuuhisai Koudoukan, for the exhibition flyers, website etc.

Contact Information

Yuuhisai Koudoukan Foundation
524-1 Mototsuchimikado-cho, Kamigyo-ku , Kyoto, 602-8006 Japan.
Tel/FAX 075-441-6662

Copyright © 2018 Yuuhisai Koudoukan. All Rights Reserved.
524-1 Mototsuchimikado-cho, Kamigyo-ku , Kyoto, 602-8006 Japan.
Tel. 075-441-6661