Sakuma Drops – The Candy of "Grave of the Fireflies"

Grave of the Fireflies (火垂るの墓) by Studio Ghibli is the saddest movie I have ever seen and at the same time the best anti-war movie I have ever seen. It tells the story of two orphan children, Seita and her sister Setsuko, after the bombing of Kobe at the end of World War II. They are alone trying to survive on their own and one of the few things they have to eat is a candy box that Setsuko keeps as if it was a treasure. As the story unfolds the candy box becomes one of the most important symbols in the movie.

Setsuko’s candy are Sakuma Drops (サクマ式ドロップス) which have been produced in Japan since 1908 by Sakuma Seika. Nowadays it’s not easy to find them; I love them and I buy them every chance I get.

This is the Grave of the Fireflies movie special edition box which has a picture of Setsuko trying to find if there is any candy left:

Grave of the Fireflies

Grave of the Fireflies
There’s many different flavors.

Grave of the Fireflies
One of the scenes of Grave of the Fireflies where you can see the Sakuma Drops box

Three years ago NHK aired a TV series and a movie based on the anime movie by Ghibli. It seems that the plot is quite different and people didn’t like it that much but you can also spot a Sakuma Drops box:

Sakuma Drops

The design of the Sakuma Drops box has changed 13 times over more than 100 years of history. This is the timeline where you can appreciate its evolution until today:

5 Comments
  • Mr. S.

    November 12, 2011 at 7:43 am

    Just say that movie this week. Saddest thing ever.

  • az

    November 12, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    I caught my mom watching that tv movie/series the other day. I didn’t know what it was, but after 5 mins I recognize it was Grave of The Fireflies. Watched it until the end, but I think the anime movie is way way way way way better; but every time I see it, I’m sad for 2 weeks.

  • nombre

    November 12, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    I remember eating these when I was a kid. Didn’t watch the movie until I was an adult. put a whole new light on them

  • Lital from A Dose of Sweetness

    November 17, 2011 at 4:03 am

    First, I am a big fan of this blog, and of Studio Ghibli.
    When I was in Japan I didn’t really notice this candies, but after reading this post, I started seeing the movie last night.
    And I agree with the comment by “nombre”- you appreciate the movie differently.
    Don’t know how I missed this movie up until now…

    Thanks.

  • Rocio

    November 18, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Where can u buy them?