The Taste of Autumn

aki-moji001 (2)

What is ‘Autumn’ for you?

Autumn in Japanese is ‘Aki‘ and written as ‘‘. The character is made from two parts. The left part shows what it is connected to and in this case ‘ (Nogi-hen)’ means the character is something to do with ‘Crop’. The right part is ‘ (Hi)’ which means ‘Fire’. So by combining two parts together the character means ‘Drying Crop (by Fire)’. Japan has a culture of growing rice plants for many many years and we harvest it in Autumn. Traditionally we dried cut plants by hanging it in the field for weeks before threshing grains so it does make sense that Autumn is the time for ‘Drying Crop’ before a cold winter comes.

In Japan Autumn is described in several ways. We say Autumn is for Harvesting. Autumn is for Reading Books, Autumn is for Arts & Excercise. However, the most important thing about Autumn and we should never ever forget is that Autumn is for ‘Taste’ and ‘Appetite’.

kuri matsutake

The Taste of Autumn – ’Matsutake’ mushroom and ‘Kuri’ chestnuts

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Bento on ‘Respect for the Aged Day (敬老の日)’ 

Keiro Bento

The 21st of September was ‘Respect for the Aged Day (敬老の日)’ this year in Japan. It was one of the National Holidays for showing our respect and care for elderly people.

Bento on ‘Respect for the Aged Day (敬老の日)’

We ordered some Bento from a well known restaurant for my mother on ‘Respect for the Aged Day (敬老の日)’. The Bento was particularly planned for elderly people with the idea of  1. Easy to eat  2. with good source of various nutrients and  3. of course it had to be good quality food. We made a clear soup called ‘O-suimono‘ to go with it.

Keiro Bento 2

The ingredients and decoration was made in an Autumn theme. The amount of food was just enough ‘Hara Hachibunme (腹八分目)’ (‘Hara’=stomach, ‘Hachibunme’=80%) for us. It means moderate eating up to 80 percent in stomach is the key for a healthy life.

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