January 20, 2008

Green Tea and Seaweed from a Funeral

Papa went to his aunt's funeral and was given this green tea and seaweed set. It was in a nice box neatly wrapped with plain paper. His aunt's name was written on the outside. Gifts are given to guests at funerals in Japan. Guests put money in a special envelope for the family of the person who passed away.

The tin on the left is filled with green tea. Actually, a small bag of tea is inside. The tin on the right is filled with seaweed strips. The seaweed can be used for sushi or it can be eaten with rice. The tins can be kept to store tea and seaweed.

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Wallorama said...

Hi Anne,

I am sorry about your father and your husbands aunt. Your children have really had a tough winter. I was curious about the tea and seaweed. Will you consume it? And will you have your own private rememberance when you do? What would be the Japanese custom here? thanks. Christy

Wallorama said...

Hi Anne,

I am sorry for the loss of your father and your husbands aunt. Your children have had a rough few months. We were wondering about what your family will do with the tea and seaweed set. I think as Americans we would save something like that forever! In Japan, would you consume it having a little moment to remember her? We are just wondering what is the Japanese tradition with such beautiful presentos. Thanks. Christy Ramsey

Annie Donwerth Chikamatsu said...

Thank you, Christy.

Yes, we have even almost finished the tea! Both the tea and seaweed are of great quality so it is a real treat to have them. We have mentioned how good they are and in doing so remember who they come from. Perhaps other families do the same thing. I know my in-laws have mentioned the person when they serve a gift from a funeral or wedding. I have also seen them put the items on the butsudan or family altar before they are opened.

Other gifts besides things that are consumed are given, too. Catalogs are given at some funerals for the guests to choose their gift. They fill out a form, send it in, and receive it by truck delivery.

Wallorama said...

Wow! That is really interesting. Thanks for letting me and my family know about this custom.

Kris Bordessa said...

What an intriguing custom. I've never heard of doing this, but it really seems like a good way to honor and remember a person.

I was sorry to read about the loss of your father.