Seihoba: Togi: refining sugar by separating the syrup repeatedly

The process of making Awa wasanbon toh: "Togi"

When "Aragake" is completed and the syrup has been extracted, the sugar becomes whiter. It is removed from the "oshioke"(pressing tub) the following day.

Since the sugar has been pressed for a whole day, it contains very little water. The syrup can neither be extracted by leaving the sugar as it is; nor can it become whiter. In order to further extract the syrup, water is therefore used. Adding water, we knead the sugar by hand. This process is called "Togi".

Softened with water, the sugar is again covered with flaxen cloth and moved to a tub to be pressed. The sugar becomes whiter by removing the syrup with water.

By repeating this process several times, whiter sugar can be obtained. In the early days of manufacturing wasanbon toh, this process was repeated three times, which is said to be the origin of the name "Sanbon toh("San" means three in Japanese)". As requests for whiter sugar are more frequent nowadays, this process is repeated four to five times. The more we repeat the "Togi" process, however, the less of the finished product we obtain.

The above picture shows the "Togi" process. We need to control the amount of water and time according to the temperature, humidity and the quality of the sugar. Much experience and skill are required to produce smooth sugar in desirable quantities.

The "Togi" process not only requires one whole day but also expertise. Therefore, manufacturing wasanbon toh using this old method is quite limited to special places in Japan.

  • Back to the top page of the process of making Wasanbon toh
  • Shimeba 1. Extracting juice from sugar cane
  • Kamaba 2. Aragama: removing the bitterness
  • Kamaba 3. Sumashioke: removing mud and sand
  • Kamaba 4. Nakagama, Agegama, Hiyashi-gama: boiling down and cooling
  • Kamaba 5. Hiyashi-kame: cooling, crystalization
  • Seihoba 6. Aragake: separating syrup from sugar(first time)
  • Seihoba 7. Togi: refining sugar by separating the syrup repeatedly
  • Seihoba 8. crushing and drying