Kaji Aso Studio Japan Festival 2007 – Boston May 6th

April 29, 2007 in Japanese, Japanese Tea Ceremony, Local Food, Tea

Kaji Aso wild boar painting

(“Wild Boar” by [tag]Kaji Aso[/tag] 1995, Courtesy of the [tag]Kaji Aso Studio[/tag])

(Learn more about Mr. Kaji Aso!)

You long time readers might remember that my oldest daughter and I have been learning about the [tag]Japanese Tea Ceremony[/tag]. We have attended a couple of 2 hour long tea ceremonies at the Kaji Aso Studio “[tag]House of Flower Wind[/tag]” [tag]Tea House[/tag] in the [tag]Symphony[/tag] area of [tag]Boston[/tag], MA.

I have taken various photos there and can share them here with a very strong recommendation that you find a chance some time to book a Sunday afternoon tea ceremony appointment. Be sure to learn some about it before you go. This page at the [tag]Kaji[/tag] [tag]Aso[/tag] Studio has information on their Japanese Tea Ceremony.

The Kaji Aso Studio also puts on a yearly [tag]Japan Festival[/tag] (details below) that is absolutely worth your time if you enjoy anything about [tag]Japanese[/tag] culture and wish to meet very talented and infinitely welcoming people. You will get a chance to mingle with other [tag]Japan[/tag]-o-philes, visiting Japanese, view [tag]ikebana[/tag] classes, tour the Flower Wind tea house, eat [tag]sushi[/tag], learn some haiku, hear some delicate and extraordinary music, and enjoy a delightful play written by the late Kaji Aso.

When we last went, Mr. Aso was still alive and we got to hear him sing [tag]opera[/tag], do sumi-e painting (I have some on my wall), and enjoy his gentle, quiet but joyful self. We still are sad at his passing.

Please take some time to attend the Japan Festival! We might see you there, let us know if you plan on attending. Let Kate know that I sent you.

Sunday, May 6, 2-7 pm
Admission- $10, Students & Seniors $5

Kaji Aso Studio
40 St. Stephen Street
Boston, MA

2:00-2:40 – [tag]Origami[/tag] Workshop
2:50-3:30 – Ikebana Demonstration (Flower Arranging), [tag]Tomoko Tanaka[/tag]
3:40-4:20 – Demonstration of [tag]Calligraphy[/tag] – Kate Finnegan
4:30-5:15 – Traditional Music – [tag]Sumie Kaneko[/tag]
5:25-5:45 – Haiku and Renga reading by [tag]Boston Haiku Society[/tag]
5:45-6:00 – Kaji Aso Studio [tag]International Haiku Contest[/tag] Award Ceremony Supported in part by the [tag]Consulate General of Japan[/tag] in Boston
6:00-7:00 – Theater Performance “[tag]Thunder God[/tag]” – Written by Kaji Aso

Also from 2-6 pm

  • Tours of Tea House and Taste of Tea $5
  • Exhibition of Calligraphy and Sumi Painting
  • [tag]Ceramics[/tag] and Gift Items- Priced Individually
  • [tag]Maki Sushi[/tag] and [tag]Inari Sushi[/tag] á la carte -$5 to $8

Information: 617- 247-1719

At Kaji Aso’s 2006 funeral at the Massachusetts State House Rotunda, we were all humbled and silenced by a haiku he wrote on the occasion of his passing and for us to remember him by.

“young boy

dreaming of catching rainbow

he became rainbow”

– Kaji Aso 2006

Related Posts:

Channeling my inner chef – where HAS she been to?!

June 28, 2006 in Japanese, Japanese Tea Ceremony, Tea

kaiseki-gohan (NOT MINE)

(Image Source: Shironoyu)
Thanks to many years of working LONG hours many miles from home, 4 hours of daily commuting and simple exhaustion at the end of the day, my husband and I evolved a home routine of his doing the lion’s share of cooking.It’s a curious thing because certain artifacts arise from this sort of arrangement.

For one, we eat a certain kind of homecooking that is very different from the one I grew up with. In the home I grew up in; imagine a mix of Midwestern farm-ish homecooking and Colombian cuisine – worked for us. One day creamy saltine-encrusted pig brains sautéed in butter and then sancocho, rice, patacones, and arepas the next.

But on top of this is something that lies dormant, my latent inner chef. When I do cook (and lately its been hard due to the morning sickness and now with my crazy big tummy not letting me get close enough to the darn counter!) what I desire to cook is not American or Colombian or even in this hemisphere.

I seem to be channeling a beginner Japanese housewife.

When I cook, I whip out the miso paste, soy sauce, tamari, gomaiso, nori shreds, tofu, green onions, ginger, sesame oil, Japanese rice, mochi, and miso vegetable stocks.

July 5th Lunch: Miso Soup
6-6 lunch close
mochi yummmmm
Today's lunch: 8-2
I don’t make bentos for the kids because we homeschool now and I am not sure that I could go there really, I am a real stickler about not eating or serving food that has stayed out of the fridge much past the time that they have lost their chill.But I do HAVE bento boxes and I like to serve supper in them on occasion. To me, a fresh homemade miso soup with daikon, green onions, steaming sticky rice, toasty mochi, and a sesame oil infusion is more attractive than a pot roast, prime rib, or roast chicken.

On some days a roast chicken (with Paul Prudhomme’s poultry seasoning inside and out) can be a strong contender tho. (As an off topic aside, I would also recommend, for your Cajun cooking needs, Magic Seasoning Salt, we used this on EVERYTHING back in the 80’s)

What I cook when channeling this Japanese housewife seems to be sourced from cookbooks I have and have seen, recipes that I find online, Japanese food photos I devour online (Flickr Japanese photos), and from Japanese restaurant experiences (tho these are never what I hope them to be).

I have a long way to go and there are certain things I wont be making (like spaghetti with ketchup or anything drowned in mayonnaise) but I am always drawn back to certain basic ingredients.

I also have a love affair with Japanese tea sweets, called Wagashi, and have posted about them in the past, including a Flickr Slideshow of wagashi images found on Flickr.

In efforts to expand my understanding of Japanese homecooking and also traditional cuisines (such as kaseki, something I want to become proficient at because it is delicious and such a lovely ideal) I either have the following books are will be getting them when the budget allows. Let me know if you have other favorites!

Wagashi – Traditional Japanese Confections – Stylistic Dreams of the World

January 5, 2006 in dessert, Food Porn, Japanese, Japanese Tea Ceremony, product, Tea, Well Fed Network

(You can click on any of these images to learn more about the photographer and to navigate to their Flickr page. Please do, these people have amazing photo-streams! Note about photography at bottom of post.)

The Japanese Tea Ceremony is a very special experience, usually performed inside a small room or building specifically designed for this custom. During the ceremony, in the dim light and natural materials of the interior, the world is distilled to the gentle rustle of silk kimonos, the brush of a foot across tatami, and quiet minds and bodies in seiza. Before tea is made, the host gives his guests a lacquer tray, chosen for its beauty, with carefully arranged Japanese tea confections or Wagashi. Each guest places one confection on their tea sweet napkin and, when all have received theirs, the sweet is observed, its beauty considered and appreciated, and then it is eaten with great relish. The silence is a soft companion as guests contemplate the graceful movements of the Tea Master who begins to whip matcha into a vibrant green foam.

The Japanese Tea Ceremony is designed to remove the participant from the brash, mundane world and immerse one into a quiet, natural, and harmonious experience of the only thing that really exists, this moment, right now.

Wagashi are not ONE thing, this is a term for a whole class of confections. Many are made from mochi (pounded rice paste), sweet red bean paste (as from Adzuki beans), and fruits or fruit materials. These confections are not usually terribly sweet as they are always made with the Tea in mind and sugary sweet wagashi would destroy the flavor of the matcha. Seasonality is of prime importance when a wagashi design is considered with mostly natural objects being depicted, such as fruits, flowers, tree buds, and other forms.

This is not meant to be a full discussion or description of the tea ceremony or wagashi, simply an introduction.

My favorite Japanese Tea House – Kaji Aso Studio Tea House

About the Japanese Tea Ceremony

Holy Mountain Trading Company
Omotesenke Fushin’an
Omotesenke Japan (in Japanese)
Omotesenke Florida
Urasenke San Fransisco
Urasenke Seattle
Urasenke Japan

Where to buy Wagashi

Minamoto Kitchoan

Where to buy Matcha

Kaji Aso Special Organic Matcha
Holy Mountain Teas
O-Square Tea and tea wares

Where to buy chawan (tea bowls) and other supplies

Shogun’s Gallery
On the art of making chawan

Yahoo Wakeiseijaku Tea Group (excellent group, very scholarly)

I wish to thank all of the generous contributor photographers who have given me permission to share their images of wagashi here on this blog.

A Look to Tomorrow – Edible Beauty

January 5, 2006 in Food Porn, Gardening, Japanese, Japanese Tea Ceremony, Tea


I just wanted to tease you on what I have coming up for tomorrow. With the help of a large group of extremely talented and generous food photographers at Flickr, I will be presenting a pictorial round up on Wagashi (Japanese Tea Confections).

My objective is to share with you the stunning beauty of these edible artworks, as captured by the people who make and eat them. I also hope to inspire you to learn more about the Japanese Tea Ceremony and The Way of Tea (Chado).