THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Use your noodle … Again

I say again because after I started this column, I looked back at previous articles then realized I used the same title back in October 2009. So while the title is almost verbatim, I won’t plagiarize myself with the content. But noodles do play a traditional role during Oshogatsu, both before and after the turning […]

FANTASTIC VOYAGE: New Year’s cards (Nengajo)

In Japan, sending New Year’s greetings cards (nengajo) is a big deal. It’s much like the American tradition of sending Christmas cards, except in Japan there is $820 million dollars in postage sent on the one day. History of New Year’s cards Giving New Year’s greetings cards has been a tradition in Japan since ancient […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Oshogatsu of the past

Well, another year has come and gone in what seemed like a blur in time. This is partially due to that theory of relativity — since I’m down to that last third of my personal movie, with the credits waiting to appear in the wings, every year seems to be progressing a lot faster — […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: First shrine or temple visit of the Japanese New Year

初 (Hatsu) means “first” or “beginning.” The left side of this character represents clothes or kimono. The right side indicates a knife. To make a kimono, one must first cut the cloth. 詣 (Mode or mairu) means “to visit a shrine.” The left side of the character indicates talking. The top of the right side indicates people and the bottom of the right […]

FANTASTIC VOYAGE: Looking back, looking forward: Traditions on the decline

I’ve been teaching English in Japan for a long time, and around New Year’s, I always ask students if they eat osechi ryori. Out of the 50 or so elementary school students that I asked this year, about half said “no.” Given that it’s a very small sample size in a remote part of Japan, […]

Chado Urasenke Tankokai SF Kyokai holds tea ceremony

The Chado Urasenke Tankokai San Francisco Kyokai held their tatezomeshiki (New Year’s tea ceremony and luncheon) Jan. 23 in San Francisco’s Japantown. Madame Soko Kobara arranged three tea ceremony sessions at the Hokka Nichibei Kai, located in San Francisco’s Japantown. Midori Inomata, who is married to Consul General of Japan in San Francisco Hiroshi Inomata, […]

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