Christmas Sukiyaki


Interviewer: “What’s your family tradition?”

Informant: “Okay…in Japan it is pretty traditional and normal that in the beginning of the New Year,in January, you eat sukiyaki. It is a winter food so It’s really only made in winter. Uh…my grandmother is a native from Japan. As a native from Japan, she takes a lot of the traditions with her. One of the…key being…actually that’s the only one we really celebrate anymore, one of the key ones being that. So on January 1st every year we all pile into my Aunt Judy’s house in the morning around 11am or so and she, and my dad, and all of my aunts, who are her children, spend the entire morning making sukiyaki and preparing all the rice, and the meat, and the vegetables, and the noodles, etc. And by 5 o’ clock it’s finally finished and we all get in line and we pack our plates with sukiyaki and rice and we mix it up, we eat it, and we have a grand old time. And it’s not too cold here in Southern California but if it was cold, I would imagine that sukiyaki would feel like a warm hug on a cold winter day. “


The informant has a family tradition where her family gathers together for New Years. When they do, her grandmother, father, and aunts all cook a big sukiyaki meal. This is based on a Japanese tradition. Since her grandmother is native Japanese, she held onto this tradition. We have a similar tradition where my grandmother would make black eyed peas on New Years. It was supposed to be good luck.