Hashiri, Sakari, Nagori

I’ve been writing about the foods of Spring and how they can alter moods.  Naturally, if you’ll excuse the pun, this led to Japan, where seasonality in all things has deep meaning and rich irony in terms of the celebration of both the real and temporal.  Maybe centuries of relative isolation on mountainous islands surrounded by an at times vicious and unpredictable ocean and seas makes one attend to one’s surroundings more spiritually.

I discovered the word “hashiri” while doing my research.  It means, “first of the season or harvest or crop,” and is a designation meant to specify the force of that first visceral experience of, say, asparagus or an apple or perhaps a fat, ripe strawberry.

Then a friend in Japan–Kiyomi T.–taught me two more words.

“Sakari” (or “shun”) means best of the season.  What other language has a word for the best of a seasonal product?  That focus has obvious appeal.  It implies you must take your senses and examine what’s before you.  Observation rather than introspection or cheap emotionality.

Finally, she told me about “nagori,”  which she defined as remnant or end of the season.  The last of the crop, which is all we have left.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.