Kuizome Tradition. お食い初め

Entry #22

待ちに待った食い初めをやっと昨日行えた。

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食い初めとは、赤ちゃんが一生食べ物に困らないように、という願いが込められた儀式で、大学院で日本文化を研究していた自分がやってみたかったものだった。思い出作りもそうだし、お初参りやらないので何か違うことがあるといいな~って。また、食べ物が関わってくるのでさらに楽しみ。

前もってインターネットでいろいろ検索し、食い初めセットを注文。自分で調理してみても良かったかもしれないけど、御節っぽいものでまだ作ったことないし、お盆や器もなかったし、ついつい楽な方向へ。インターネット、素晴らしい!

ロシアにはそういう儀式がないので、沢山写真やビデオを撮って、実家に送ろうと。

そして当日、男の子の食い初めなので夫のお父さんを自宅に招き、食い初め準備。

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料理は温めて盛り付けるだけなのでとても楽、見た目も綺麗で、美味しい。チビ青虫君が授乳の後が元気なタイミングを狙って食い初め開始!

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もちろん、ちびっ子は何も食べれないのが前提。離乳食までまだ来ていないし、母乳以外何も飲ましてないので、儀式通り口に当てるだけ。鯛の匂いが強すぎて若干嫌がりの表情を見せた青虫君がなんとか機嫌よく全てクリアできた。

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デジカメラとビデオカメラの撮影も夫に任せてバッチリ。

食い初め終わってからゆっくり全部を食べて、ああ、和食って美味しいな~って 笑

歯が丈夫に、健康に大きくなってね、チビ青虫君!

 

This weekend we finally had Kuizome traditional ceremony for our Little One.

Kuizome literally means First Eating, and it is a Japanese ceremony for Babies who reach 100 days mark. The tradition itself is very old, and during it baby is given actual adult food with different blessing meanings associated, but, of course, as the baby is still on breast milk he can’t eat anything. So it all ends up in bringing food bites close to baby’s mouth. The meaning of all the actions is to wish a future full of food and health for teeth in rather symbolic manner.

I was specializing in traditional Japanese culture when I did my masters degree in Japanese university, so you can imagine how excited I was about doing something like this. We didn’t do Omiya-Mairi, the first visiting of shrine, as my husband’s family is not strict on that, but Kuizome is about food and eating delicious traditional yummies, so I said to hubby we are so doing it!

The food for the ceremony is not that difficult to make and it resembles much Japanese new year Osechi-ryori, but I still haven’t tried myself in those so we ended up ordering Kuizome set online. And oh it was good!

As we have a boy and according to the tradition an older male member of the family is to “feed” the baby, we invited hubby’s father. All the food was ready and needed to be microwaved only, so we just needed to heat it and decorate the special tray set (all red one as it is a boys color, while girls get the black one). Even at this stage the food smelled astonishing!

Kuizome has its certain order of feeding, where the same routine is repeated three times. The routine involves not only food, but special rocks named hagatame, usually picked up from shrine. Baby does not eat rocks of course! The feeding adult just touches it with chopsticks and then worth the same chopsticks touches baby’s gums wishing him to have teeth as solid as rock. Symbolism in everything!

Poor Little One made upset face only once when hubby’s dad brought fish piece to his mouth first time. Yes fish smell is strong we get it! But he almost licked rice so we all laughed while hubby said Oh he is Japanese wanting rice!

Of course we took lots of pictures and video, so I am satisfied much! And we made another good memory for our Little One, which is important. Not to mention we ate all the food by ourselves afterwards and believe me it was delicious! Japanese traditional food is listed in UNESCO legacy for a reason!

Little One, grow healthy and have only delicious food on your plate for years to come!

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