On Oct. 8, 2011, we celebrated your 100 day birthday. In Japan, it is known as a Weaning Ceremony or First Meal Ceremony. From what I've read, it began because in ancient times, babies rarely made it to 100 days, so when they did, it was cause for much celebration. To celebrate your okuizome, you were presented with your first real meal. Of course, at three months, you couldn't really eat it, but the meal symbolized a blessing that you would never go hungry for the rest of your life.
Originally, when I asked your Mimi about okuizome, she said that in Okinawa, they just take pictures of babies on their 100 day birthday (see mommy's okuizome photo below).
But mommy wanted to do more for you. For this special occasion, mommy did research about the ceremony and even ordered you a custom kimono for you to wear at the event. When it came it in the mail, I was so pleased. You looked perfect.
Your Mimi and Aunt Barbara did most of the cooking that day and prepared a delicious meal for you of fish, kinpira gobo, miso soup, sweet rice with azuki beans, a pickled plum, and a stone. The fish, with its head and tail intact, symbolized that you would have a strong neck to hold up your head. The kinpira gobo represented happiness or joy. The miso soup and pickled plum symbolized that you would have a long life. The sweet rice and azuki beans represented loyalty and diligence. Finally, the stone symbolized that you would have strong teeth.
At an okuizome ceremony, a grandparent or elder, usually presents the baby with her first meal. In your case, your Mimi presented the meal to you. By presenting the food to you, she blessed you with the energy of a long, healthy life.
We hope you have a long, happy life filled with many blessings, sweet Izzy, for you've certainly blessed mommy and daddy just by being our daughter.
Love to you always,