Today I made a cake for my dear friend Gayla's grandpa. He turned 88!! Amazing, and he looks not a day older than 65.
In the Japanese culture, 88 is a very special age. The two kanji characters, "bei" which means rice, and "ju" which means longevity and good fortune, are combined ~ "bei-ju" to celebrate someone who's turning 88's long fortunate life. I got these kanjis from my mom, by the way, I am not one of those smart culture savvy people who just knows these things.
I researched trees in Japan, and found that one of the three most famous trees is a weeping cherry tree, which I thought was so beautiful. My mom has one in her front yard and it just so happens that it blooms on my wedding anniversary. It's really cool. Back to the tree thing- I read that the samurai believed that sitting under a cherry tree while eating was good luck, and also it was extremely lucky to have a cherry blossom fall off of the tree into the food you were eating. So, I thought it would be symbolic to have blossoms that "fell" off the tree scattered on top of the cake. I hope they enjoyed eating it as much as I enjoyed making it. I'm definitely making another tree cake for my mom.
~~ Happy Birthday !!! ~~