Sho to Wagashi: COSMOS x Morimoto Napa presents
COSMOS: FIVE ELEMENTS
Marriage of Japanese Cuisine, Calligraphy and Confectionery
Demonstration & Tasting
Inspired by Yin-Yang and Five Elements: 木火土金水 (Mok-Ka-Doe-Gon-Sui：Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water), I collaborated with Tokyo-based Japanese traditional confectionery “wagashi” chef Shiho Sakamoto and Morimoto Napa to create unique visual and edible art.
The event featured five courses of savory dishes by Chef Ichiro Tsuji, each inspired by the Five Elements, followed by Sakamoto and I presenting five courses of wagashi delicately served on contemporary Japanese calligraphy art on various Japanese washi papers, one inspired by each element of the five elements.
With Japanese traditional aesthetics and wabi-sabi culture, our intention was to realize our vision through a multi-sensory experience inviting you to celebrate nature’s blessings as represented by the Five Elements; in essence, the entire cosmos.
Shiho Sakamoto (front), Aoi Yamaguchi (me, in the back) / Chef Ichiro Tsuji of Morimoto Napa
Chef Ichiro presented beautiful five courses. It was inspiring to hear the concept behind each dishes, and his interpretation of Five Elements reflected into the selection of the ingredients, how he prepared them and stunning presentation.
For the second half of the night, Shiho Sakamoto and I presented our Five Elements, the marriage of Japanese calligraphy and wagashi. Our inspiration was the two contrasting cycle of energies of Five Elements:
Generating Energy (Chi)
Based on Five Element Theory, each elemental force generates or creates the next element in a creative sequence.
Water generates wood. Rain nourishes a tree.
Wood generates fire. Burning wood generates fire.
Fire generates earth. Ash is created from the fire.
Earth generates metal. Metal is mined from the earth.
Metal generates water. Water condenses on metal.
Regulating Energy (Chi)
Based on Five Element Theory, each elemental force is also associated with another element which it is responsible for controlling or regulating.
Water controls fire. Water puts fire out.
Wood controls earth. Tree roots hold clods of earth.
Fire controls metal. Fire can melt metal.
Earth controls water. A pond holds water.
Metal controls wood. An ax cuts wood.
Morimoto Napa, Chef Ichiro Tsuji
Japanese Calligraphy “Sho”: Aoi Yamaguchi (Aoi Yamaguchi Calligraphy)
Japanese Confectionery “Wagashi”: Shiho Sakamoto (紫をん（Shiwon）)
Assistant: Sayaka Tani
Special thanks to:
Sayaka, Chef Ichiro-san, Amy Ahnfeldt, Eduardo Dingler, Vivian, and our precious guests to make this event possible!
Photos by Vivian Sachs Photography