Motherhood & Parenting in Japan

O-kuizome: An Elaborate Feast for Baby

Last Updated on 2024-01-08 by Teni

Three months after the birth of Miss Kaiju, we celebrated o-kuizome: an elaborate feast for baby. It is done in hopes that a baby will have no difficulty in procuring food in his/her lifetime.

O-kuizome is a major milestone that comes right after Omiyamari. Back in the day, extended relatives and family friends attended a baby’s o-kuizome. In recent days, it’s done just with parents and grandparents. Some modern families now even do o-kuizome as an event just for parents and baby.

O-kuizome: An Elaborate Feast for BabyO-kuizome: An Elaborate Feast for Baby menu
As with o-miya mairi, the exact date may vary by region. You can celebrate it when a baby is 100 days old or even as late as 110 or 120 days after birth.

In our case, we planned to visit the in-laws during Golden Week, and they wanted to have baby’s o-kuizome at that time. When Golden Week approached, baby was around 90 days old, so we weren’t too far off the mark.

My in-laws prepared a very elaborate feast for such a tiny baby. Little Miss M had several types of foods to be “eat” with special celebratory chopsticks (祝箸 | iwaibashi).

O-kuizome: An Elaborate Feast for Baby

O-kuizome Menu

The foods prepared follow the washoku formula of “one soup, three dishes” (一汁三菜 ichijuu sansai). Soup (吸い物 suimono), fish (魚sakana) stewed dish (煮物 niimono), pickled vegetables (香の物 kounomo) and rice (赤飯 sekihan).

O-kuizome: An Elaborate Feast for Baby
The fish is intact because tai, or sea bream, is a play on o-medetai, a celebratory word.

Of course, a baby can’t eat any of these foods, so o-kuizome is in fact a wonderful photo op for family members as they try to “feed” baby. I’ve seen that after the “feeding,” parents offer a smooth rock to the baby. Its purpose is to promote strong and healthy teeth; in our case, no such rock was available.

O-kuizome was a wonderful opportunity to experience Japanese culture, and I look forward to more events!

For more on other Japanese celebrations, I recommend this book, Japanese Traditions: Rice Cakes, Cherry Blossoms and Matsuri: A Year of Seasonal Japanese Festivities:

Available on Amazon & Amazon Japan

O-kuizome: An Elaborate Feast for Baby

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