Saturday, March 3, 2012

Beckoning Good Fortune

Ready for a cultural lesson? When dd and her fiance returned to the islands in November to finalize details for their wedding, my mom and sil threw a wedding shower for them. My mom, who is a plastic canvas fanatic, stitched up "maneki neko" or "fortune cat"vases for the centerpieces and filled "masu" boxes with mochi for the favors.
The "maneki neko" or "fortune cat" is a Japanese symbol of beckoning good fortune (see how the cat has his paw lifted as if to say, "Come in, come in, good fortune!") The kanji characters mom stitched on the gold coin read "sho fuku" which translates to "welcome in, good fortune!"
The little square black laquered boxes are "masu" boxes, which were once used by the Japanese to measure rice. In old Japan, one's wealth was often measured by "masu", or the amount of rice they owned. The character in gold on the boxes is read as "fuku" which translates to "good fortune".
The masu boxes were filled with dd's favorite "chichi dango" or sweet milk mochi, wrapped in cellophane bags and closed with these pretty sakura. Each delicate petal on these blossoms were painstakingly hand shaped from paper clay and put together to create each sakura by my amazingly talented "calabash" (extended family) cousin, Sherry. Aren't they absolutely beautiful? Thank you so much, Sherry! Your sakura added such a special touch to the favors.
And many, many thanks from the bottom of our hearts to my sil and mom for working so hard to throw such a lovely wedding shower for dd at such short notice!


Kris G said...

Yay!!!! Sherry!!!

Creations by Patti said...

wow- these air dry sakuras are totally wonderful. Can't wait to see the rest of the wedding projects!!!