Japan has many traditional sweets and desserts, but one favorite, especially in the warmer months, is みつ豆 mitsumame.

Cool and sweet, colorful and cute, mitsumame (literally "syrup and beans") is typically made of small cubes of 寒天 kanten agar jelly, sweetened 赤豌豆 akaendō (red marrowfat peas), colored 求肥 gyūhi soft mochi squares, sometimes 白玉団子 shiratama dango soft mochi cakes, fruits such as Japanese mikan or pineapple and sometimes cherries, and usually eaten with syrup drizzled on top.

A typical bowl of mitsumame. | Shimajiro / © PIXTA

Japanese figure maker and illustrator 牛人 Ushihito (@ushihito) creates adorable figures inspired by various food items. Some of our readers may recall their so-cute-you-want-to-poke-them seal-shaped manjū cakes which we introduced two years ago.

You can see them in the bottom right corner, along with other seal-inspired figures which they posted on World Seal Day, March 22nd:

However, not all of their creations are inspired by living things. The other day, Ushihito was inspired by mitsumame to create a bracelet.

"I made a mitsumame bracelet with beads I bought at a beads specialty store!"

Reproduced with permission from 牛人 Ushihito (@ushihito)

If you compare the cute bracelet with the image of mitsumame above, you'll find parallels between the ingredients and the various beads they chose to make the bracelet. With the exception of green gyūhi which wasn't in the stock photo we used, Ushihito featured the agar cubes, red fallowmeat beans, mikan, pineapple pieces, and cherries.

In a watercolor painting posted later that day, Ushihito revealed the ingredients that inspired them:

The cute mitsumame bracelet went viral, garnering over 118,400 likes and 15,00 retweets at the time of writing, and eliciting numerous comments such as:

  • "Wow! It's so mitsumame and so cute!"
  • "Just the other day, I overheared a mother with her small child who was begging her to buy her mitsumame (...) so I have an image in my mind of mitsumame being cute, just like your bracelet!"
  • "How imaginative! It's just adorable!"
  • "I like the refreshingly cool colors, too."
  • "Wonderful!"
  • "It looks so tasty...I mean cute! OK, both!"

Encouraged by the attention their bracelet was getting, they also made these adorable cream soda earrings!

Although these accessories aren't for sale (now), you'll find some of Ushihito's figures and goods on their online shops. At their The Base shop, they sell food sample figures and keychains. Apparel and other goods at their Popbox store are currently sold out but they may come back in stock.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.