March 20

Dolls Festival

There are some special dishes for the festival. 
"Hishimochi" are diamond-shaped rice cakes. They are colored red (or pink), white, and green. The red is for chasing evil spirits away, the white is for purity, and the green is for health. 

"Chirashi-zushi," "sakura-mochi (bean paste-filled rice cakes with cherry leaves)," "hina-arare (rice cake cubes)" and "shirozake (sweet white sake)" are also often served.

The origin of Hinamatsuri is an ancient Chinese practice in which the sin of the body and misfortune are transferred to a doll, and then removed by abandoning the doll on a river. A custom called "hina-okuri" or "nagashi-bina," in which people float paper dolls down rivers late on the afternoon of March 3rd, still exists in various areas.

Akari o tsukemashou bonbori ni 明かりをつけましょう ぼんぼりに
Ohana o agemashou momo no hana お花をあげましょう 桃の花
Go-nin bayashi no fue taiko 五人ばやしの 笛太鼓
Kyo wa tanoshii Hinamatsuri 今日は楽しいひな祭り

Let's light the lanterns
Let's set peach flowers
Five court musicians are playing flutes and drums
Today is a joyful Dolls' Festival

January 28

Happy New Year

Bom Ano Novo

new year's cleaning
and traditional decoration with kagamimochi

seeds of portuguese kale drying for next  year


Kagami mochi (鏡餅), literally mirror rice cake, is a traditional Japanese New Year decoration. It usually consists of two round mochi (rice cakes), the smaller placed atop the larger, and a daidai (a Japanese bitter orange) with an attached leaf on top. In addition, it may have a sheet of konbu and a skewer of dried persimmons under the mochi.
It sits on a stand called a sanpō (三宝) over a sheet called a shihōbeni (四方紅), which is supposed to ward off fires from the house for the following years. Sheets of paper called gohei (御幣) folded into lightning shapes similar to those seen on sumo wrestler's belts are also attached.

The kagami mochi first appeared in the Muromachi period (14th-16th century). The name kagami ("mirror") is said to have originated from its resemblance to an old-fashioned kind of round copper mirror, which also had a religious significance. The reason for it is not clear. Explanations include mochi being a food for sunny days,the 'spirit' of the rice plant being found in the mochi,and the mochi being a food which gives strength.
The two mochi discs are variously said to symbolize the going and coming years, the human heart, "yin" and "yang", or the moon and the sun.


traditional osechi new year's delicacies
made by the sweet Tanaka Naoko san
 Originally, during first three days of the New Year it was a taboo to use a hearth and cook meals, except when cooking zōni. Osechi was made by the close of the previous year, as women did not cook in the New Year.


 Ozōni ,
miso soup for the new year 
 with kagamibiraki mochi

glass plate Kristina Mar

Kagami Biraki (鏡開き) is a Japanese traditional ceremony which literally translates to "Opening the Mirror" (from an abstinence) or, also, "Breaking of the Mochi." It traditionally falls on January 11 (odd numbers are associated with being good luck in Japan) It refers to the opening of a Kagami mochi, or to the opening of a cask of Sake at a party or ceremony.

By this time, the kagami mochi is usually quite brittle, and cracks appear on the surface. The mochi is not cut with a knife, since cutting has negative connotations (cutting off ties) and is instead broken with one's hands or a hammer.
Many Japanese martial arts dojo use the Kagami Biraki ceremony to signify their first practice of the New Year.

November 27

Autum pumpkin and orange marmelade

                                                                                                                        glass plate Kristina Mar

...The post-impressionists went even further with orange. Paul Gauguin used oranges as backgrounds, for clothing and skin colour, to fill his pictures with light and exoticism. But no other painter used orange so often and dramatically as Vincent van Gogh. who had shared a house with Gauguin in Arles for a time. For Van Gogh, orange and yellow were the pure sunlight of Provence. He created his own oranges with mixtures of yellow, ochre and red, and placed them next to slashes of sienna red and bottle green, and below a sky of turbulent blue and violet. He put an orange moon and stars in a cobalt blue sky. He wrote to his brother Theo of "searching for oppositions of blue with orange, of red with green, of yellow with violet, searching for broken colours and neutral colours to harmonize the brutality of extremes, trying to make the colours intense, and not a harmony of greys."...

                                                         printed glass plate Kristina Mar


October,       exhibition at gallery BONTON , Kobe Ashya


              BONTON gallery