The sea bream, or “tai”, has long been considered an auspicious fish in Japan. It is a pun on the word “omede-tai”, which means “joyous” or “deserving of celebration. ” Also known for its ceremonial place in ritual and gift-giving, a whole sea bream, from head to tail, is an integral part of any celebration. Its bright red color, fine shape, rarity, and delicious taste are other reasons for its popularity as a good luck charm.
This lucky plate plays off another motif of “kinkato”, a sugar confectionary and gift since the Edo period, which is often shaped as a sea bream. Sugar was considered extremely valuable during Japan’s period of isolation since Nagasaki was the only port through which it could be imported. “Kinkato” was an expensive treat, made by melting and pouring sugar into a wooden mold.
Red / White / Black