Monday, November 25, 2013

feast of friendship

horn with musical notes of salmon caviar

There are two gift-giving seasons in Japan. One is in the summer and one is in the winter. Winter gifts often involve agricultural produce for which the sender's home prefecture is known. Each winter for almost twenty years, I have received potatoes from an old friend in south-western Hokkaido, tangerines from an even older friend in Nagoya, and persimmons from the oldest friend of all in Shikoku. Last week I received a box of frozen Hokkaido ikura (salmon caviar or red caviar) from a relatively new friend who actually lives near me in Hokkaido. Besides reciprocating with gifts of my own, I try to send each of these friends an Etegami thank-you card with a painted image of the gift I received from them.

After twenty years, though, it's hard to think of new ways to depict the same fruits and vegetables. I feel like I've painted them from every possible angle, as well as shown them sliced, peeled, or cooked in every possible way. So this year, I've decided to try whimsy. The writing on this card says "The feast known as friendship."


  1. I always do appreciate how you teach us about the world. Gift –giving seasons are very interesting. I love the way you depicted salmon eggs!

  2. This is beautiful, Debbie! I love the caviar notes...

  3. I guess *Whimsey* is my *Cup of Tea*...because I love your drawing and your words. (And I happen to adore both Horns AND Salmon Cavier! A-ha-ha!) We are *new friends*, having just *met* this year, but I am so happy we did...friendship IS a most precious gift!

    Hugs from across the Ocean,

    ♥ Robin ♥