Wagashi—intricate, miniature, Japanese sweets traditionally served with tea—are thought to have been developed during the Edo era (1603–1867), after sugar had been introduced by the Portuguese but was no longer confined to the upper class. Created to complement tea ceremonies, which draw inspiration from the seasons, wagashi commonly have names and designs that reflect the ephemeral qualities of nature. In the West, you'd be hard-pressed to find a donut crafted to resemble the gentle bend in a stream or the delicate burst of pink in a cherry blossom. But at Tokara confectionery in Seattle, you'll see this reverence exhibited in chef Chika Tokara's Spring Under Snow kinton, a walnut-size tumble of white-bean-paste threads made to resemble a mound of snow melting as the sun ushers in a new season. Her Uzu—an ocean-blue sphere covered in a fondant-like bean paste, with a pearl-size pink flower and swirls etched across the top—is meant to evoke a lotus petal floating serenely on the water.