Omiyage giving is an important element in Japanese culture. Akiko San brings us something each and every week. We try to have things to give back.
The word Omiyage(お土産・pronounced oh-mee-ya-gay) means souvenir or gift . It is customary to present a souvenir to friends or co-workers upon returning from a trip or the gift that one brings when one visits another's home. In casual circumstances, omiyage may be any gift at all, but in an office environment, it's normal to observe certain protocols.
When she went to NYC she brought us central park green m/ms. ::grin::
Michael (and recently I) have done this when we travel. Always trying to bring back "some little something" for the family....finding the perfect souvenir becomes part of the fun of traveling. On our recent trip to the states we constantly kept our eyes open for the "right" gift for Akiko San.
We had talked with her about the Redwoods, and they were hard for her to comprehend. Michael and the kids took photos of the Redwoods and we knew that would be part of the gift.....but what else could we get her? We thought of kites and wind socks from the OR coast....but they seemed a bit too close to Japanese and I didn't want her to think I was hinting "American kites are better".... As a side note the wind sock I bought can't take the Northern Japanese wind. ::snort::
Finally, at a little shop in Old Town Newport, I found exactly what I wanted to buy her. I liked it so much I got myself one. I thought it would be a great touch of cheer in our long Northern winters. I also joked that I didn't want to be the only person in Japan wearing one. Michael and the kids thought it was a great gift too. We bought it......then I wondered....as really Japanese don't like to stand out. I reasoned she could tell her friends, "Look what my crazy American family gave me."
I wish I'd had the video on....she laughed and really loved it. She said it's beautiful and will be perfect for hiking - it certainly should put her grandfather's heart at rest. She'll be easy to spot if she gets lost in the snow. ::snort:: It made me happy to see her response. And now there will be TWO of us wearing these on cold and windy days. LOL
Living all of life before the face of God...