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Dango is a Japanese dumpling made from mochiko (rice flour), related to mochi. It is often served with green tea.

Dango are eaten year-round, but the different varieties are traditionally eaten in given seasons. Three to four dango are often served on a skewer. One variety of dango from Hokkaid? is made from potato flour and baked with shoyu (soy sauce).


Types of dango

There are many different varieties of dango which are usually named after the various seasonings served on or with it.

    * Anko: Commonly known as (sweetened) red bean paste, while ingredients other than azuki are used on rare occasions. An-Dango is the most popular flavor in Japan.

    * Bocchan dango: Dango that has three colors. One is colored by red beans, the second by eggs, and the third by green tea.

    * Chichi dango: Slightly-sweet light treats usually eaten as a dessert.

    * Hanami dango: Also has three colors, Hanami dango is traditionally made during Sakura-viewing season. Hence the name Hanami (Hana meaning flower, and mi meaning to see).

    * Goma: sesame seeds. It is both sweet and salty.

    * Kinako: A toasted soy flour.

    * Kushi dango: Dangos held by a skewer

    * Mitarashi: A syrup made from shouyu (soy sauce), sugar and starch.

    * Teppanyaki: Dango on a skewer with a tangy teppanyaki taste.

Derived terms

A common Japanese proverb "Hana yori dango" (?????, "Hana yori dango"? which translates as "dumplings rather than flowers") refers to a preference for practical things rather than aesthetics.

Dango is used internationally amongst go players as a derogatory term for an inefficient, dumpling-like cluster of stones in a go game. It is also the name of a go variant invented in 1991.

A hairstyle consisting of dango-like buns on either side of the head is sometimes known as odango.

Rise in popularity

    * In 1999, dango experienced a surge of popularity in Japan following the release of a song entitled "Dango san ky?dai" (three dango brothers). The CD single sold over 2.9 million copies, making it the 4th best selling CD single in Japan during 1968-2006.

    * In the extremely popular Japanese film series Otoko wa Tsurai yo, the family of lead character Kuruma Torajir? (Tora-san) operated a small traditional dango shop in Shibamata, Katsushika, Tokyo.

    * In the anime series Sailor Moon, the protagonist Usagi Tsukino is humourously referred to as odango-atama, "dumpling-head", because of her hairstyle.

    * In the anime series Clannad, dango are the main focus of the ending theme song, titled "Dango Daikazoku" (literally translated as Great Family of Dango or Big Dango Family). The ending video features personification of many types of dango as they act according to the song. In the series (also in the original visual novel), the main heroine Nagisa Furukawa is very fond of the personifications of dango which she finds to be cute, and likes to sing the beginning of "Dango Daikazoku" which merely consists of the word "dango" being repeated several times.


• In Naruto, Mitarashi Anko was seen eating dango during the second test of the Chuunin exam. Her name is also derived from the sweet red bean paste used in popular dango

Source: encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com

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