Hawaiian-Japanese New Year – Food

Hawaiian-Japanese New Year – Food

Music; Ambience: Japanese children’s New Year’s Song

For the Japanese, New Year’s is a holiday rich in ancient traditions, intended to strengthen family bonds and bring good fortune throughout the year. And those rituals remain strong whether New Year’s is celebrated on Japanese soil, or on a Hawaiian island. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. We’re listening to the sounds of a traditional Japanese New Year’s children’s song.

“In Japan, New Year’s is probably the most important holiday of the year, and so that tradition was carried over by the large Japanese community that settled in Hawaii.”

Pulse of the Planet listener Myles Tanaka is a Hawaiian of Japanese descent, and he remembers New Year’s as a time of special foods, some of them made with a sweet rice paste called mochi.

“One way that we ate mochi was to actually have it cut up into slices, and it would be fried with a little bit of butter, a little bit of soy sauce, sprinkled with sugar. And it would be fried on both sides so that it was very, very crunchy on the outside but very soft and chewy on the inside. I love mochi.”

Mochi was also an ingredient in ozoni, a fish broth that was always the first food eaten on New Year’s day. Flattened pieces of mochi were placed on the household shrine as an offering to the gods. For good luck and health in the new year, Japanese-Hawaiians would also eat a dish of black beans, a preserved plum, and a special fish called tai.

Our thanks to Myles Tanaka for sharing his New Year’s memories. To hear about our new CD, please visit pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

music

Hawaiian-Japanese New Year - Food

For one listener who grew up in Hawaii, New Year's day always meant a feast of traditional Japanese foods.
Air Date:01/03/2011
Scientist:
Transcript:

Hawaiian-Japanese New Year - Food

Music; Ambience: Japanese children's New Year's Song

For the Japanese, New Year's is a holiday rich in ancient traditions, intended to strengthen family bonds and bring good fortune throughout the year. And those rituals remain strong whether New Year's is celebrated on Japanese soil, or on a Hawaiian island. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. We're listening to the sounds of a traditional Japanese New Year's children's song.

"In Japan, New Year's is probably the most important holiday of the year, and so that tradition was carried over by the large Japanese community that settled in Hawaii."

Pulse of the Planet listener Myles Tanaka is a Hawaiian of Japanese descent, and he remembers New Year's as a time of special foods, some of them made with a sweet rice paste called mochi.

"One way that we ate mochi was to actually have it cut up into slices, and it would be fried with a little bit of butter, a little bit of soy sauce, sprinkled with sugar. And it would be fried on both sides so that it was very, very crunchy on the outside but very soft and chewy on the inside. I love mochi."

Mochi was also an ingredient in ozoni, a fish broth that was always the first food eaten on New Year's day. Flattened pieces of mochi were placed on the household shrine as an offering to the gods. For good luck and health in the new year, Japanese-Hawaiians would also eat a dish of black beans, a preserved plum, and a special fish called tai.

Our thanks to Myles Tanaka for sharing his New Year's memories. To hear about our new CD, please visit pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.

music