Azuki beans are widely used in Japan and most of East Asia. Whether cooked with rice or turned into amanattō (甘納豆) ice cream, the little red bean paste is generally better when sweetened with sugar. That said, I present to you the photography/art project of Takao Sakai: Portraits of Azuki Beans Beard.
Gross? I wouldn't go that far - but I wouldn't eat these beans, either! Check the site and you'll see that he's thumbnailed nearly 600 images, and they keep coming. Next time I'm in Tokyo I'm going to have to ring him up!
Interested in azuki beans? Try this recipe for oshiruko!