Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year’s Tradition

In Japan, New Year’s is the most important holiday, one that is celebrated for days, with many special foods and rituals. Growing up in Japan, my wife enjoyed all of that of course.

But even though I was born and raised in the U.S., I got a taste of the festivities as my aunt and mother prepared a lot of the traditional Oshogatsu dishes every New Year’s.

Now we are grown up, and my wife and I don’t prepare all of the Oshagatsu dishes. But my wife does make ozoni, which is a Japanese soup containing mochi rice cake.

And this year, Kai helped with the preparation.

And then it was time to eat. The mochi doesn’t have much flavor of its own. It is very sticky and chewy. So, I wasn’t sure Kai would like it.

But, he ate all of it and asked for more.

In the big scheme of things, this is not exactly a major milestone. But sometimes it is the little things – like seeing our son enjoying a family tradition – that bring the nicest feelings of contentment.

This post is part of the ‘LITTLE things are a BIG deal’ meme hosted by Autism Wonderland. Click here and check out the other great posts.


  1. How wonderful! I didn't know that about Japanese tradition. My husband love Japanese culture - I will have to share this with him.

    And I love that Kai helped out and ate his meal! That's so great.

    Would love for you to link your story up to the new meme for AutismWonderland. "the LITTLE things are a BIG deal" :D

  2. The beginning of a new year...a great time to share with family. My whole family also loves mochi. Good for Kai for trying a new food. Good food + Family = Good times!

  3. Hi Lisa,
    I like your meme, and have now linked up. Thanks!

  4. Shiroi, I was never crazy about mochi as a child, but I find myself enjoying it more, partly because it is just part of the tradition.

  5. Isn't it just true that it is those family traditions become so much more important and special when you can share them with your children. I know one of the things I have wept more than one tear about was the worry that occasions (like christmas) might not ever have meaning for Jman. But this year I think he understood Santa, and enjoyed presents. Maybe next year we will be able to incorporate even more traditions (cookie baking?? Snowmen??) with his engagement!

  6. Pia, I'm so glad that your son enjoyed presents this Christmas. We had similar worries about Kai a few years ago, but the past couple years, he really got excited about the whole thing. I hope your son's excitement will continue to grow.


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