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Fortune Cookie Production at Benkyodo, San Francisco - ca 1914-1941 - WWII - 1946-1958

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Engraved Kata Mold

Some of the Katas (hand griddle) that were in Benkyodo's possession (six shown in another picture), had the initials MH engraved inside. I verified with Tanako Hagiwara, great grandaughter of Makoto Hagiwara, that the initials stood for his name. I conjecture that Makoto Hagiwara, whose Japanese Tea Garden used to make fortune cookies by hand, gave some katas to my grandfather's Benkyodo Company to make fortune cookies for them until my grandfather designed and had built a semi-automatic sembei baking machine as seen in another of my drawings. Some of the katas were plain inside, but the engraved kata could still be used to make fortune cookies, by folding the embossed design to be inside the folded cookie. Beside fortune cookies, they used to make flat wafer cookies and so the design could be appreciated in the unfolded shape.


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