A custom brought to Hawai`i by Japanese immigrants long ago. Kadomatsu has developed into a local tradition to welcome the new year. Kadomatsu, literally "Gate Pine" is placed at the entry way of buildings and homes to welcome ancestral spirits and bring good luck. Each element of the arrangement bears special and particular significance: The Bamboo represents strength, growth, and the ability to withstand nature's forces - arranged in varying heights to represent heaven, man, and earth; the Pine's needles foil evil spirits and represent longevity; the Rope represents the binding together of heaven, man, and earth.
The tradition and significance of Kadomatsu was taught to my family by Grandma Kay.A petite, but mighty woman that we would deliver fish to every weekend at Tropic Fish Hawai`i.She loved our family and we loved her.She had a way of making us feel so appreciated and always hoped for the best for our family.She passed down the tradition after we endured a tough year,and encouraged us to look forward to the upcoming year and to leave the discouragement behind.That was the first year we made and put up Kadomatsu in our home with hopes for the best.
The following year, one of the many blessings that showed up for our family was Marukai asking us to make 20 or so Kadomatsu to offer their customers.The quantity quickly increased and we soon found ourselves making Kadomatsu for Foodland and Marukai in the early years, and then eventually Sam’s Club for the majority of the 25 years that we have continued to do this.
Every family maintains their own customs that are passed down from generation to generation; each one specific to the fingerprints of their ancestors.I was 12 when we began this tradition, and took the lead in tying and decorating the Kadomatsu.And in the process, I learned the power of intention.What I know for certain is that our hearts are heard in the quiet of thought, and everything has the power and significance that we place on it.
It has been the joy of our family to end each year sharing these Kadomatsu with so many families through large retailers.As we look forward to taking more rest and taking better care of family, we wish you continued health and prosperity in the new year.
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