Anko Ambassador: Interviewing The Japanese Red Bean Paste Ambassador

Anko Ambassador: Interviewing The Japanese Red Bean Paste Ambassador


Hi everyone. I am very very excited about this article because I had the chance to interview The Anko (Japanese Red Bean Paste) Ambassador ! Did you know that such thing exists in Japan? You can become a red bean paste ambassador and spread the anko love to the people around you and to the world!

**Anko (あんこ) means sweet red bean paste. It is used in a lot of Japanese traditional desserts.

2 Main Types of Anko

  1. Tsubu-an (粒あん) – Chunky bean paste which the bean shape is still intact.
  2. Koshi-an (こしあん) – Smooth bean paste.

An Interview With The Anko (Japanese Red Bean Paste) Ambassador

🔴 1. Please introduce yourself briefly

👉 I’m Aki. I live in Kyoto, but I’m originally from Fukushima. I work as a sales rep at a travel agency. I became an Anko Ambassador 2 years ago.

🔴 2. What are your hobbies?

👉 I enjoy exploring new Japanese sweets shops, drinking coffee, and practicing video editing in my free time.

🔴 3. How did it all begin?

👉 I think it started from my parents. I have always loved sweets especially those with anko since I was a little kid. How I came to know about becoming an anko ambassador all started when I received an invitation to an event for Anko lovers in Kyoto. The email seemed fishy but I attended it anyway because I thought it would become a good topic for conversations.

“The email seemed fishy but I attended it anyway because I thought it would become a good topic for conversations.”

Japanese, Male, Anko Ambassador

🔴 4. Why did you want to become an anko ambassador?

👉 Actually it was for free anko sweets called “Manju”. During the event, there were free “Manju” for everyone who passed the anko ambassador certification quiz by the end of the event.

🔴 5. How did you become an anko ambassador?

👉 I just took a quiz on online. It is a free simple quiz on the website of Japanese Anko Association. You can take it as many times as you want until you pass it. The thing is that it is only available in Japanese…

🔴 6. What are your roles as an anko ambassador?

👉 There are no roles as an anko ambassador. I tell people to give it a try only when I find a nice place where you can have good anko sweets.

🔴 7. What is so great about anko?

👉 Anko is great. Words are not necessary.

🔴 8. Please tell us some funny and interesting facts about anko.

👉 Anko has more polyphenol than red wine. Not only polyphenol, it is full of nutrition such as iron, fiber, and vitamins.

🔴 9. What is your favorite anko dessert?

👉 I love Taiyaki, Manju, Ohagi, Daifuku, etc.,

🔴 10. Would you recommend other people to become an anko ambassador?

👉 Definitely. If you love anko.

🔴 11. Please introduce your favorite place to get anko in Kansai.

Futaba’s Mame Daifuku (Bean mochi filled with anko) and Imanishiken’s Ohagi!

Demachi Futaba / 出町ふたば


This Japanese confectionery shop was established in 1899. Long queues form to purchase Nadai mamemochi, (hard-cooked red peas in rice cakes).

Imanishiken / 今西軒


Opened in 1897, the shop guards the traditional mutli-generational recipe for of handmade ohagi (sweet rice covered in azuki bean paste). Limited quantities in 3 varieties are served: kinako powder, tsubu-an azuki paste, or koshi-an azuki paste.

(Questions From Social Media)
You asked, he answered.

🇧🇳 Omg what is that and how do I sign up??? (Question from Brunei)

👉 No need to sign up. It’s a certificate for completing a short simple free quiz online.

🇧🇩 What about anko makes you like it so much? (Question from Bangladesh)

👉 The taste 🙂

🇺🇸 Can you make a good bean burrito out of anko? (Question from USA)

👉 Sounds like a crepe. I would try if there is such thing 🙂

🇺🇸 Why do you try to trick everybody into thinking that it’s chocolate? (Question from USA)

👉 Thinking that it is chocolate is the first step of loving anko.

🇮🇩 Is this what heaven tastes like? (Question from Indonesia)

👉 It is! They even have many kinds!

🇹🇭 I loooooooooooooove this. I just want to ask the anko to stay as oishii as it is forever. (Comment from Thailand)

👉 It will stay oishii forever as long as we love it.

🇩🇪 How many calories? (Question from Germany)

👉 150~250 kcal in every 100g of anko. Less than half of whipcream!

🇹🇭 Do you get paid to be an anko ambassador? (Question from Thailand)

👉 I get nothing for being an anko ambassador but it’s a fun topic to add on your resume!

🇹🇭 I always see anko in almost every type of omiyage so I want to know, is this a tradition? Do Japanese people get bored of receiving anko omiyages all the time? (Question from Thailand)

👉 Actually my dad was complaining about it while he enjoys eating it… Please note that sometimes anko won’t stay fresh for a long time. (Japanese people love omiyage which will stay fresh for a long time)

What do you guys think? Would you want to become a red bean paste ambassador?

Read More About Japanese Traditional Desserts Here!

Sanshoku Dango: The meaning behind the kawaii dessert

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