saint patrick’s day wagashi

something green… i was in search of something green. i ended up hooked and spent way too much time in awe with japanese confectioneries than i care to admit that i forgot all about ireland.

the japanese have aesthetics down to a tea (yea, i know). from their haikus, calligraphy, kabuki, bento boxes, pottery, and gardens. i love their maple and bonsai trees. and so much more. some i’m not even aware of yet. their culture seems to have been touched with the unseen hand of grace.

i was introduced to the traditional confectionery art of wagashi. all assembled to depict elements of nature and each of the four seasons. traditionally made with various components such as azuki beans, sesame, chestnuts, mochi, and kanten.

i watched different impressions of methods from the ceremonial mochi pounding to a machine operated rice kneading. i was impressed by an old japanese wagashi chef so humble in his craft and not too confined by tradition, unbothered by the birth of what he calls ‘new wagashi’ – so long as it doesn’t veer off the mossy cliffs and loses grip of wagashi philosophy. i had him in mind while on this wagashi undertaking, and my heart repeatedly reminded me that i had forgotten all about ireland.

i tried not to deviate too much from the graceful ethos of wagashi tradition, but i’m preparing to be beheaded in my sleep by the ghost of the first samurai. i could be spared because both my nephews happen to be in their first and second year of japanese language course.

irish raindrop and irish moss covered stones. yes, well… it was dropped by the biggest raincloud in irish history on the foggiest day!

failed cloudy mizu shingen mochi – irish raindrop (i hang my head.)

matcha mochi – irish moss covered stones

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matcha ube mochi – o’my clover

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like brian fallon irish-ly sang,

i got an irish name and an injury, blessing and a curse cast down on me

i do.

happy saint patrick’s day. my sober matcha drinking leprechaun soul is closing the pub with a ballad from one of my favourite irish singers.


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