#13      April, 2001

The Hiraoka Family's Happy 'Mochi-fumi (Stamping on Rice-cake)' Day

Akira Hiraoka----This happy grandfather is an old friend of my husband Den Okochi.

Akira and Den have been friends for more than 50 years.
They are like the set of Shrine Guardian-Lions, town people say.
Akira's wife Mariko and I visit each other too. Maybe we are shrine messenger-m......anatees, if there were any such things, because we both are plump.
The 4th of March was the first birthday of Akira's grandsonTsukasa.
Here, in Yoyokaku, the Hiraokas had a Japanese traditional 'Rice-cake Stamping' party.
I think this old tradition to celebrate children's first birthday might interest you.


Tsukasa Hiraoka (1)

Tsutomu(Dad) and Megumi(Mom) Hiraoka

Two-storied Mochi
and a pair of tiny little Waraji
(straw sandals)
'Mochi' is a special thing for Japanese.
Since olden times, Mochi has been between Gods and humans.
Men donated Mochi to express gratitude to the blessing of Gods.Then men enjoyed eating Mochi after Gods.
In a special occasion, like wedding, new year, anniversaries or birthdays, building a new house, etc.,Japanese people make Mochi to celebrate.
The colors red and white together mean a happy occasion.
These items are laid to foretell the baby's future.
Which one does he take first?
If he takes the pencil, he will be a scholar.
Or, will he be a soccer player?
Or a businessman?

book, pencil, Soroban (calculating tool), golf ball, toy car, soccer ball, ruler, brush for calligraphy, calculating tool again.

Great-grandmother, Ume Hiraoka (92)
She wanted him to grab Soroban.
She wants him to be a good businessman
like his great-grandfather.

Tsukasa's sister, Aya Hiraoka (3)
This energetic young lady did not want her brother
take the red toy car. Because she wants it!

Tsukasa's grandmother, Mariko
"Anything will be all right" she said
"Be whatever you like to be."

Tsukasa's grandfather,Masanobu Ozaki (Mom's Papa)
He didn't tell others what he wanted
his grandson to take.

Tsukasa prondly steps on Mochi.

Tsukasa's grandmother,Kimiko (Mom's Mama)
She was just smiling.
When he was released from Mom's arms, he ran and picked up the toy car.
Good boy!
Grandpa Akira was so proud.
Tsukasa must make a promising successor of the Hiraoka Gas Station!
Hurrah to the 4th generation of Hiraoka Company!

These days, more and more families celebrate children's birthday with a western style birthday cake. It is of course nice and happy, but I hope this kind of Japanese tradition will survive long.

Thank you so much for reading this page. Thank you so much for your blessing for this handsome baby.

Will you please visit this web-site again next month?
See you again later.                                                                                           ,

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