Konpeito is a small sugar candy which has spiky surface, and the flavour is simply sugar taste. It comes in pastel colours such as pink, yellow, green, and white. The word konpeito comes from the word confeito in Portuguese. It is believed that konpeito was imported from Portugal to the Western part of Japan, during the Sengoku period (1467-1603), and played an important part of the history.
In 1569, a Christian missionary named Luis Frois from Portugal offered warlord Nobunaga Oda, a few candles and konpeito in a flask, at Nijyo castle in Kyoto. It is said that in 1613, during the Edo period (1603-1868), konpeito was offered to warlord Shigenobu Matsura, as a get well gift. In a fiction written by Saikaku Ihara which was published in 1688, the practice of making konpeito was described, and it is said that the Chinese knew how to make it. In the 18th century, konpeito started to spread among the common people too.
Making konpeito requires time and technique. To make konpeito, huge kettle called dora is used. In order to make syrup, rock sugar and water will be boiled together. The dora which is tilted a bit will be heated, and granulated sugar will be cast into the rotating dora. The granulated sugar becomes the core of konpeito. After the granulated sugar is put in the dora, syrup which is about 70 degrees celsius will be poured on the sugar by hand for every 7 to 8 minutes. It takes about two weeks until the konpeito becomes the full size which is about 5 to 10 millimetres in diameter.