Today we like to telll you about the first Hinamatsuri of our mago(grandchild).
Our daughter Shoko lives in a town very close to Mt Fuji in Yamanashi with her husband, Masanori and his grandparents. His parents and his father's parents live close also,so they get together often. Today, they celebrated first Hinamatsuri(Girl's Festival) for Ichino, Shoko's daughter(=our granddaughter).
Usually, the mother's family send Hina dolls so we sent the dolls for Ichino. We are going to visit them next month to see them and also attend Masanori's sister's wedding, we are so looking forward to see them soon.
Msanori and Shoko wanted this particular Hina dolls( we know they are not made in Japan) but since Masanori's sisters have very big traditional Hinadolls with 5 platforms
they did not want to have huge dolls and chose this set.
They placed Hishimochi, a diamond-shaped rice cake with the dolls. You can see the white mochi, rice cake in the center too- the mochi was made by Ichirno's great grandmother. She made sekihan(festive red rice)also and they are sending us the red rice and mochi to us also. Date of this festival seems to differ depending on local area.
Shoko sent us the video of Ichino on the day. She became one year old last month and just started to walk!
Everyone is watching her walk and she looks so proud in the video:
You can hear everyone's cheering voice, parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents rejoicing! I asked Shoko what was Ichino carrying on her back. She taught me, it is the tradition around the area, called `Tachi mochi'. Ichino had wrapped mochi in the furoshiki cloth and the cloth was tied to her. In other area, they let one- year-old baby carry the mochi. Sometimes the heavy mochi , Issho weight(1.8kg, approx 4 lb)mochi is often . Issho sounds the same with `life'(issho)in Japanese(it is a pun), It is to wish the happiness and to wish they can always have food(rice) in their life. In Fujiyoshida city, where they live, they seem to put square shape mochi(not heavy). Ichino's great grandmother made the mochi for Ichino.
I found a Japanese sweets shop in Fujiyoshida city, and they sell mochi for this event:
The big round mochi with the letter must be Issho mochi.
I have never seen those kind of mochi sold around here, and I have never seen this event before either. Rice is symbol of food and red rice is served on festive event, that seems the same in all over Japan. Rice is not only food, it it very special, many Japanese say, they cannot live without rice. Masanori's family grow rice they do not eat first crop-they make offerings first to the alter and then they eat the rice later.
Here in Osaka, we did not know about this tradition of Tachi mochi. Japan is very small country but there are many different tradition even in this narrow and small country! Ichino is growing, surrrounded by a big family with a lot of love. We can see photos, videos and also sometimes skype, We are looking forward to see her walk in person!