Japanese Okurimono

Gifts. Strong sunshine in early afternoon. Huge resounding drums. The long tail of holiday gift-giving. Unexpected gestures of thoughtfulness and kindness.

The annual Mochi Tsuki Festival on Bainbridge was a couple of Sundays back, hosted at Islandwood, and graced by sunshine all afternoon.

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The sweet glutinous rice being steamed. While the first stage of the mochi is completed outdoors, the mochi balls are rolled inside the great hall. We watched the mochi-making while waiting our turn for the taiko concert. The drummers from Seattle Kokon Taiko were the main reason I went, as in years past. They are riveting.

Over the winter break, one of my students went to Tokyo and brought a gift back for me–senbei! The packaging was so pretty, we hesitated to ruin it.

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Here we have a lot going on: it’s after 7pm, with dinner underway, homework, my work, a super-duper slouch, and the fun of seeing which little traditional rice crackers each package contains.

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