Red Luck

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Generally, I have no classes on Mondays; however, I am currently translating a website with a computer services company. I was expecting to get assistance from my Japanese teacher for my upcoming speech in the morning and then, in the afternoon, work on the translation. However, the employee coordinating the effort was down with a fever, so things got put off until Tuesday.

I decided to run to Ise for some Akafukumochi (赤福餅), which we often shorten to Akafuku. The characters are ‘red’ and ‘good luck’ or ‘happiness’; mochi, of course, is yummy, pounded, glutinous rice. Akafuku is a well known specialty of Ise city (伊勢市), which is home of the main shrine of the Shinto faith (神道). Many people travel to Ise at various times of the year; often they enjoy this sweet tastiness while they are there.

Early in the New Year is the most important time for worshippers to visit the shrine, but due to a ‘pull date’ scandal, the sale of Akafuku was banned. Finally, the government agency responsible for food hygiene lifted the restriction and droves have been swarming the shop. To be honest, I had an ulterior motive for going to Ise, but that will wait for another post. (Sorry for the teaser.)

I returned from Ise bearing boxes of goodness for four of my favorite restauranteurs, my shuji teacher (習字先生), my Japanese teacher (日本語先生), and my neighbor. Just by chance I ran into a friend, who I don’t see often, and I handed over one box to congratulate him on his new baby. Unfortunately, my neighbor got shorted this time around. Then I hit all the restaurants, but they each insisted I stay for awhile. So, I ate four small meals and had a few drinks over conversation. Needless to say, my speech didn’t get any closer to finished.

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One Response to “Red Luck”

  1. Desire to Eat the Forbidden Food « Neo-新びっくりブログ Says:

    […] stop was Akafuku (赤福), famed makers of some very tasty mochi – which was banned last year amidst scandal, to pick up tsuitachi mochi (朔日餅). (Note that I used the wrong kanji in yesterday’s […]

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