There is perhaps nothing more simple and divine at the Japanese table than a pristine bowl of snow white shinmai, new rice, to close an autumn meal. Like the wafer at mass, newly harvested rice speaks to the Japanese soul of the divine, of things both eternal and ephemeral.
Drawing back a clump of desiccated fronds, I find an emerald trumpet of delicate leaves cradling a cluster of quilted button like buds. I raise the dirty, wet stem to my nose and drink in the earthy, pungent aroma of spring breaking from winter. This is fukinoto.
If Kuniko, my mother-in-law, were to write the story of her life it might read more as a menu than a memoir. Kuniko was a young girl during WWII in Japan. One day she was told to evacuate from her family home in the center of town to her grandmother’s house in the countryside a […]
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