Tomoko knows the value of food, both in her professional and personal life.
In Japan, where Tomoko was born, food has ceremonial importance, starting almost from birth. About a hundred days after a child is born, families celebrate with the ceremony of okuizome. Parents buy black dishes, and serve they baby with the wish of abundance of food throughout her life. At baby’s first birthday, there is a usually a red-and-white birthday rice cake. P:arents also have the baby walk and carry four pounds of mochi (a sticky rice cake, which is a sacred food in Shintoism) in a little bag on her back to wish food, health and harmony – even when one is burdened in life.
Speaking of burden, food had a heavy meaning for Tomoko as she was growing up in Japan in war time. Food was rationed, and people had to be creative to find ways to cook with the food that was available, even grasshoppers. They would also grow their own food to deal with food shortages. After the war, when the U.S. shipped food to Japan, people still experienced shortages. People at that time were more anxious about food than politics.
So it is no surprise that Tomoko values food. She provides yummy food at home and knows how to choose a good restaurant based on its food. And she has great taste.
As part of preparing for her recitals, Tomoko likes to have food as part of the event. Her students’ families and Tomoko’s friends bring wonderful dishes and beverages. The smorgasbord of food reflects the many cultures of the families: it is a global potluck.
And music is food for the soul. It fills humanity’s emotional and psychological needs. Tomoko provides for both kinds of food. And we all benefit from her expertise and care.