Where Do “Ohajiki” Crackers Come From?

Mar 29, 13 • No Comments


“Ohajiki” Are Crackers that Don’t Meet the Specifications of Premium Okaki Crackers

Akasaka Kakiyama’s Okaki rice crackers are a popular gift in Japan. Ohajiki are shards of and cracked Okaki, which do not meet the specifications of our standard rice crackers.

Kakiyama Okaki is committed to bringing out the original flavor of the rice used as the primary ingredient in the crackers. 5 to 15 per cent of which–depending on the type–are designated as Ohajiki, which is sold at a lower price as a non-standard product. What’s the story behind the creation of Ohajiki? By looking at its origin we see many aspects of the “new recycling.”

Produced in Toyama, Okaki Pays Special Attention to the Flavor of the Rice

img01Kakiyama Okaki is made in the company’s Toyama Plant. The raw ingredients include rice grown nearby, cultivated in abundant sunlight, and pure mountain spring water.

The entire production process is very labor intensive in order to bring out the texture and flavor of the rice, which includes steaming performed in wooden crates and grinding with pestles. The highly trained staff spend many hours carefully modifying the production process to take into account the day’s weather conditions and the characteristics of the rice in order to make the most delicious Okaki possible.

For further details about the production process, please visit our site at here.

Hajiki Are Chosen by Factory Staff

img02The cooking process is performed under the discerning eyes of our staff who also check and sort the crackers by hand. It is not only shards and cracked Ohaki that become Ohajiki but crackers that are too big or too small as well.

Although the raw materials and process are the same as for normal Ohaki, Ohajiki is not suitable to be given as a “special gift item,” which requires an uncompromising attention to detail for the entire production process.

The Innovative Use of Packaging that Did Not Show the Contents

03In addition to the quality of the cracker itself, special attention is also paid to the packaging. This goes back to 1972 when the company was founded.

Okaki was generally sold as a common snack when Mr. Kawai, the company founder, had the novel idea that by using gourmet ingredients Okaki could given as a gift like Western confectionaries. He also decided to adopt the same packaging concept type as the sweets, which hid their contents, and sell the crackers in beautifully designed decorative tins. It was the first time Okaki become a “high class” treat.

A Collectible Decorative Tin

img05There are many varieties of packaging designs for Okaki in order to meet the needs of seasonal events like the Hina Matsuri festival, Valentines Day, and bridal showers.

On the other hand, due to strong demand, the standard tin for gift sets is manufactured only once per year in large quantities. There are many fans of these tins, who feel it would be a disservice to throw them away. But because the design is changed every year any leftover tins cannot be reused.

So for this Ohajiki project we have decided used these deadstock tins.

What Kakiyama Hopes to Achieve

赤坂柿山 佐藤さん


The majority of fans of Kakiyama are between the ages of 50 and 80. Although the company deeply values its current customers, it would also like other demographics to enjoy its delicious products. Ms. Sato, Product Planning Manager at Kakiyama, says “When you mention ‘Okaki’ many people think of it in connection with Japanese tea, but I think there’s also a strong potential to serve it for an appetizer.”

The company also wants to gain greater recognition abroad and is are participating in special overseas events. Company founder Mr. Kawai dreamed that Kakiyama would one day make “Okaki” an everyday word in foreign countries.
To conclude, Ms. Sato had the following to say about the current project.
“We hope all the designers involved will have fun with this project. Your designs will lead a younger generation of people to experience the deliciousnous of Okaki.”    

Ohajiki has the same ingredients and labor intensive process as the company’s other crackers and come in decorative tins that cannot be used for the standard products because they are no longer current. It is a great opportunity for customers to experience the high standards of Kakiyama. We hope that you will consider this recycle gift idea, which represents both the culinary and aesthetic aspects of the company, and at a lower price.

>>Project vol.1: Why not consider a new type of gift, one made from dead stock containers and premium factory okaki (rice cracker) seconds, known as “Ohajiki”?

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