This article examines how the commercial success of Western-style confectionery (yōgashi) of the Japanese Empire was largely built on the capital and resources of colonial Taiwan. Building on existing studies that acknowledge the importance of Taiwan’s colonization in Japan’s sugar industry, this article explores the tension between sweetness and power in the Japanese Empire through the lens of Western-style confectionery, a product regarded as a symbol of progress and modernity. Through the examination of the activities of two confectionery companies—Niitaka Confectionery and Morinaga Confectionery—in Taiwan, this article addresses how the making of Western-style confectionery required raw materials other than sugar, such as bananas and cocoa, that were obtained through the means of colonialism. By expanding the studies on sweetness and colonialism from sugar to confectionery, the article shows that the sugar industry, confectionery manufacturers, and the Japanese state wove together a complicated network that formed the foundation of Japan’s rising empire of sweetness. It also highlights the significance of the colonization of Taiwan in the rise of Japan’s Western-style confectionery industry that has long been obscured in people’s memories of sweetness.

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