Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Japanese New Year Tradition (2013)

Happy New Year 2013!  New Years morning is something I look forward to every year. As far back as I can remember, it's been a tradition growing up celebrating the New Year (Oshogatsu in Japanese) with symbolic foods- ozoni soup (rice cake in fish broth with vegetables); kuri kinton (mashed sweet potatoes with chestnut) symbolizing gold, wealth, prosperity;  kuromame- sweet black soybeans for hard, industrious work and good health; and namasu- seasoned carrot and daikon signifying a strong foundation for family.  My mother passed away years ago but this tradition lives on through my mother in law Kyoko who is a wonderful cook.  While I've made some of the dishes in the past,  this year we cooked everything together and I am officially certified to take this on hereafter and pass it on to my children. I learned all of the dishes from the very best teacher. It's incredible to learn just how much work and hours goes into every detail.   Like gift wrapping, thought behind presentation is of value as the feelings behind the meal is expressed visually.  One of the many traditional influences passed down through the generations...

My family's  Japanese New Year Table

Memories of my Mother who brought lacquerware from Japan
that we use every New Year

My children receive "otoshidama" money envelope from their grandparents -
a Japanese New Years custom 

Making Mochi (Japanese rice cake) with my daughter
Melanie and Grandmother Kyoko 

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