Japanese Children's Day 2012
May 11 2012 - On this day, children came to school dressed in a Yukata, Jinbei, Kimono, or clothing representing Japan or Japanese Children’s Day. During the previous days leading up to this event, children had made a Kabuto and Yoroi, or a Japanese warrior’s helmet and armor, made out of newspaper. Children donned their Kabuto and Yoroi and took part in a parade around the tennis court and playground area.

Meanwhile, parents were busy in Mountain Room making preparations for the Shiratamako cooking demonstration and last minute décor adjustments. Besides donating their much needed skill and labor, parents also donated flour and lent portable stoves to be used for the cooking demonstration.

Finally, it was time for the cooking demonstration.

Children eagerly entered Mountain Room, surprised to see parents, a redecorated classroom, and cooking utensils and equipment. The cooking demonstration was lead by Mrs. Matsubara, who had help from Mrs.Yokota and Mrs. Moribayashi, who also assisted in translating Japanese phrases.

The recipe was quite simple: with Japanese Shiratamako flour, just add water and stir until the mixture forms a very gelatinous compound. Next, take the mixture and form a ball, using the palm of your hands. You can shape it to any shape you want, such as a snake, as Mrs. Matsubara demonstrated. Toss the shape into a pot of boiling water and as soon as it rises to the surface, remove with a metal strainer and dip it in a bowl of ice cold water until its temperature has cooled. The Shiratamako should look like a shiny and moist white blob. The Shiratamako is now ready to eat! Mrs. Matsubara suggested coating it with Kinako, Japanese for finely grinded roasted soybeans. However, if Kinako is not readily available, chocolate/strawberry syrup, fruits slices, or other sweet toppings of your choice may be used.

Each child was then given an opportunity to shape the mixtures with their hands. These, of course, were not cooked as most were either rolled on the table or dropped on the floor. But parents had already prepared cooked Shiratamako for the children and parents to taste, served with the Kinako topping, chocolate syrup, or a mixture of both. There was plenty of Shiratamako so parents and children were given some in takeaway plastic boxes to take home.

We would like to thank all the parents who participated in the Japanese Children’s Day, and a special thank you to Mrs. Matsubara, Mrs. Yokota, Mrs. Santoso, Mrs. Abe, Mrs. Alisia Rataj, Mrs. Kohga and, last but not least, Mrs. Moribayashi for their time and hard work to make this event as successful as it was.