Tuesday, 29 December 2009

All works out well in 2010!

O-zoni, the highly symbolic New Year's Day soup, varies throughout Japan. In Kyoto it is made from white, slightly sweet miso (soybean) paste diluted into a kombu (seaweed) broth.

Ingredients are daikon (radish) and the unique “kyoto vegetables” such as ebi-imo (potato species looking like a prawn) and kintoki ninjin (intensively red colored carrot) as well as mochi rice-cakes.

Everything has to be of round shape since „round” means perfection and harmony, but it also symbolizes the human head. The head is on top of the body, is controlling and responsible, and hence stands for success and advancement.

I wish you a successful and “go-ahead” new year -- all works out well in 2010! (For this, Japanese as well as German language has an idiomatic expression using the word „round“.)

Oh, and by the way, women eat the soup from a bowl lacquered black on the outside and red on the inside (like in the picture). Men eat it from a thoroughly red lacquer bowl.

In this way, the whole Kyoto is filled with codes. Shapes and colors carry hidden meanings, waiting to be deciphered. More about that soon!

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