On March 10th, The Ohana International School held a Fund Raising event to support the survivors of the Tohoku Earthquake. I donated a couple of Gift Vouchers for the charity auction as I was very much impressed with Ohana's continuous efforts to help the region get back in shape.
It has been 5 years since the devastating event and although they have not fully recovered from the aftermath, the Japanese media and the whole nation are beginning to forget about what has happened and memories of the terrifying tsunami on the television screen are starting to fade.
So when I heard that one of my students who is a PTA member has visited the Tohoku Region to help support the Tsunami victims, I was both impressed and a bit ashamed as a Japanese who is starting to lose interest in what is going on there. (And now everyone's eyes are on to Kumamoto)
So, it was my pleasure to participate in this event. And today, one of the winners of the auction came to take a Sushi Lesson with her friend. Thank you so much for coming and also for your support towards Japan!
This day Traditionally is called the ”Tango-no-sekku端午の節句”, (Boy's Festival), which is day to wish the growth of the boy in the family.
Koinobori (carp streamers) ,the symbol of strength and courage, were flown outside to tell the gods that there is a boy in the house and ask for blessings and miniature suits of armor were displayed inside the house in hope of healthy growth of the boys.
Celebrating Tango-no-sekku still remains, but Children's Day is celebrated in hope of healthy growth, happiness, and prosperity of both boys and girls.
And it is the tradition to eat rice cakes wrapped in oak leaves (kashiwamochi 柏餅） and sweet rice wrapped in bamboo leaves (chimaki -粽）. The oak leaf is a sign of prosperity as it does not fall off from the tree branch. And the chimaki comes from the tradition of throwing in the chimaki in the river as a memorial service for the deceased.
On this day we bathe in a tub with iris (shoubuyu 菖蒲湯） The iris is said to keep away the evil spirits, therefore used to be hung under the roof and used for bathing. The iris leaves also resemble a sword and was used for sword fights among children. You may have noticed the Iris flowers in Supermarkets in Japan during this season.
Actually, the Japanese name for iris, "shoubu" sound the same as the kanji ”尚武” meaning to "respect martial arts", so since the Kamakura Era, we displayed the samurai's armour or helmets to celebrate the birth of a boy.
Last week, I held a cooking class for a group of French Tourists at their air bnb room. She had a baby and couldn't travel to my house so I went there to their apartment in Shinjuku to do a class. After getting lost in my car and not being able to find the entrance to the apartment, I was thinking this wasn't my day, but at the end, it all went well andI hope they enjoyed the class!
I'm Miyuki and I teach Japanese Home cooking at my home in Tokyo.