Sake Manju and Banana Manju
Manju is a popular traditional Japanese sweets. There are many varieties of manju, but most have an outside made from flour, rice powder and buckwheat and a filling of an (red bean paste), made from boiled azuki beans and sugar. They are boiled together again and kneaded. There are several varieties of bean paste used including koshian, tsubuan, and tsubushian.
In 1341, a Japanese envoy that came back from China brought back manju with him and started to sell it as Nara-manju. It is said that this was the origin of Japanese manju. Since then, it has been eaten for over 700 years by Japanese people. Now it can be found in many Japanese sweet shops. Its low price is a reason that it is famous among the Japanese.
There are myriad varieties of manju, some more common than others. For example, matcha (green tea) manju is one of the most common. In this case, the outside of the manju has a green tea flavor and is colored green. There are also manju that have different flavored fillings, such as orange-flavored cream. As is the case with many Japanese foods, in some parts of Japan one can find manju unique to that region.