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Postby coco » Thu 02.25.2010 4:04 pm


As a Japanese national, I have been living in Japan for more than three decades.
I, however, still learn something new about Japanese culture, and it often makes me excited.

A few days ago, I researched a company’s philosophy for some reasons and found that the word “かしわば(柏葉)”, probably “oak leaves”, was used as a keyword to represent one of their managerial philosophy.
The company was established four hundred years ago and they placed value on the succession of their business. The word かしわば expresses their determination to pass their business down to generations.

I couldn’t understand why the word かしわば was used there, as I don’t have much knowledge about plants. They explained; Although Kashiwa is a deciduous tree, its leaves won’t fall apart until young leaves grow, so a Kashiwa tree has leaves all the time.
Thus, it is considered that かしわば symbolizes the lasting prosperity of family. That is the reason why we eat 柏餅 for Children’s Day, May 5th.
I didn’t know even the symbolic meaning of 柏餅. I was proud of Japanese culture when I learnt it,

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Re: かしわもち(柏餅)

Postby phreadom » Sat 02.27.2010 3:05 am

That is very interesting! Thank you coco-san! :)
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Re: かしわもち(柏餅)

Postby tōkai devotee » Sat 02.27.2010 6:22 am

Very interesting, indeed!

I have a similar story. Despite being born in Australia and living most of my 3 decades here, I don't know everything there is to know about my country and its culture. When I teach ESL to visiting students from Japan, they sometimes ask me questions which, rather embarrasingly, I can't answer. I go off and research the subject, and get back to them the following day or following class with the answer. I too get excited to learn something which I previously didn't know. When I move on to the next group of students, I think I'll be able to answer all of their questions about Australia, but it seems that no matter how well prepared I am, they come up with new questions and there is always something new to learn! And this is exciting! :)
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Re: かしわもち(柏餅)

Postby coco » Sat 02.27.2010 8:56 pm

Tokai devoteeさん、おっしゃること、よくわかります。
自国のことや自国の文化というのは、普段疑問を持たずにいても、改めて考えたり、人から訊かれたりすると「なぜなんだろう」と思うことよくありますよね。調べてみると、必ず新しい発見があり、「おお! すごい!」と興奮させられます。

コメントを読んで感動を分かち合えたように思い、嬉しくなりました。 :)
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Re: かしわもち(柏餅)

Postby becki_kanou » Sat 02.27.2010 9:34 pm

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