Sharing Candies with Strangers “Ame-chan” Culture in Kansai

Carrying hard candies is a common habit of ladies over forty in the Kansai region (south-western half of Japan, including Osaka). The Japanese word for hard candy is “ame,” but they add “chan” (which is a suffix for a younger or cute person or pets) to the word and call it “ame-chan” affectionately.


Photo by たかせ ゆづき


According to people in the Kansai region, they are used to the ame-chan culture since they have been given ame-chan since they were children. Whenever they cough or get fretful, ladies around them gave them ame-chan.

In Osaka, ame-chan and mandarin oranges are often passed round in trains and theaters because ladies bring those goodies and share them with other passengers and audiences. It scarcely happens in Tokyo.

The Kansai ladies answered as below when a Japanese website, Excite News asked “Why do you carry ame-chan all the time?”


“To get acquainted with someone I meet in town.”

“Whenever and wherever I find someone coughing, I give him or her candy.”

“To reduce allergy discomfort and irritation of throat. ”

“I eat it for a change.”


Ame-chan is a communication tool for them. Not only friends, families, and co-workers but also strangers they share ame-chan with.

The Kansai ladies are friendly and sociable. Raised by obliging ladies, they naturally became adults who like to take care of others.


Source: Excite News


This is JAPAN Style!