Tokyo-based Sakumaseika Company — the manufacturer of Sakuma Drop hard candy is featured in Isao Takahata firefly grave — is going out of business and will stop producing its iconic candy bar in January 2023. The company cited rising production costs, labor shortages, and declining sales as reasons for its bankruptcy.
Sakuma Drop candy products are made from real fruit juice, containing eight flavors such as grape, apple, lemon, strawberry, pineapple, Japanese peppermint, chocolate, and orange. Usually stored in the iconic red tin, which features Setsuko Yokokawa from firefly grave on one of the designs. Cans are also a collectible item in some circles.
Founded by confectioner Sojiro Sakuma in 1908 during Japan’s Meiji period, Sakumaseika produced sweets during the Second World War air raids. The company has said it is not raising the price of its products because it doesn’t want to pass soaring production costs down to customers. It employs more than 100 workers, whose job security remains uncertain at this time.
Studio Ghibli to display candy prominently in firefly grave, where an orphaned girl carries a red can of produce with her older brother. This is one of the few possessions the siblings have left after their house was demolished. It is used by the brother as a storage for his sister’s ashes when she dies at the end of the film.
Rival manufacturer Sakuma Confectionery Co., which was founded when its management team split from Sakumaseika after the war, has announced that it will continue to manufacture and release a similar product called Sakuma Drops. Instead of red cans, products with confusing names are stored in green cans.
Many Sakuma Drop candy fans pay for themon social media after hearing the news of his discontinuation.
The maker of Sakuma Drops is going out of business. This candy, which is perhaps best known today for its appearance in the 1988 film Grave of the Fireflies, was first produced in 1908. https://t.co/zwqVv8yreO pic.twitter.com/b260mVHjiQ
— Jeffrey J. Hall (@mrjeffu) November 9, 2022
Par rapport la News du jour qui circule aujourd’hui sur les bonbons du film Le Tombeau des Lucioles
Il faut préciser que c’est la société Sakuma Shiki Drops qui fait faillite (boîtes en haut) mais pas Sakuma Drops (boîtes en bas) qui eux continueront d’être produits👍🏻 https://t.co/ek8hS8oODO
— Mathieu Tokyo Kyoto Guide (@tokyovisite) November 9, 2022
Even though Sakuma Drops was discontinued, firefly grave red lead is still available for purchase in the US, France and UK.
Note: “Grave of the Fireflies” candy cans by Sakuma Drops are still available in many countries, for example:
France : https://t.co/aVjZRcKVAX
English: https://t.co/B5pJiYTqng pic.twitter.com/1bWZzzgd36
— Catsuka (@catsuka) November 9, 2022