June 21 – 夏至 Geshi
Welcome to the series of posts made in collaboration with Kintoki sweets and ITSUMO Life exploring Japanese culture and seasonal observations.
Today we are going to explore 夏至 Geshi, the 10th micro season in the 二十四節季 24 Sekki solar calendar.
Geshi is the name of the summer solstice and has the longest amount of daylight in the year. With the long and warmer daylight hours, we look forward to many things that we’ve been waiting for. Our local farmers markets are getting busy with summer vegetables and fruits, and we notice strawberries being the first ones to catch our attention.
To celebrate the beginning of summer, Sen surprised us with her homemade Strawberry Ichigo Daifuku mochi. The daifuku mochi is one of our favourite treats, especially with the first strawberries of the season. First made in the 80’s by wagashi makers who were trying to appeal to younger people who were more interested in strawberry shortcake than mochi, their efforts have paid off with ichigo daifuku now being a very popular confection during the strawberry season.
Although ichigo daifuku may not be a traditional food to eat on the summer solstice, there a few that we would love to try, 無花果団楽 ichijiku danraku, figs with a sweet and savoury miso sauce. 小麦粉餅 komugikomochi, a wheat and sticky rice flour mochi made for offerings to the gods protecting the fields, and eaten together with family and friends who have come to help with the farming.
Especially as the weather gets warmer, we are more attracted to foods that are more refreshing and cooling. And that happens to be the same for the choices of our tableware. Here styled with the strawberry mochi are the Kasumi glassware made by Fresco. As if it were made of soft water, the plate has a fluid form and unique texture, making it an ideal choice for serving fresh desserts such as this juicy and flavourful ichigo daifuku mochi.
We hope the longer summertime hours create a sense of renewed energy for your everyday routine and bring inspiration for outdoor gatherings with friends and family while appreciating the gift from nature.
Until our next exploration,
ITSUMO & Kintoki Sweets