Japanese Good Luck Housewarming Gifts

Two bonsai trees signify good wishes to newlyweds.

Giving housewarming gifts is a tradition going back centuries in many cultures. The Japanese culture has a long-established number of good luck housewarming gifts. Some presents include fresh bread, so that the new owners will never go hungry; rice, for fertility; a new coin, for wealth; a straw broom, so that they may sweep evil away; and wine, to bring the household happiness.

1 Japanese Flowers

"Hanakotoba" is Japanese for the language of flowers. A bouquet of flowers such as Sakura (cherry blossoms), daisies and plum blossoms all signify good luck for new home owners. The colors red and white together are considered auspicious.

2 Bonsai Tree

A bonsai plant is a dwarf potted tree. Its traditional meaning is one of peace, harmony and happiness to all in the household.

3 Sake

Sake is an alcoholic drink distilled from a special rice called "Shinpaku-mai." The gift of sake, like all gifts of wine, reflects the wish of happiness on the household. Sake sets that bring a dispenser and four cups, usually in porcelain and glazed ceramic, bring the same good luck.

4 Calligraphy Set

Calligraphy is the art of writing in an expressive and artistic form. A traditional Japanese calligraphy set might be sold in a Fan Box which includes the tools necessary to practice the art of calligraphy, including a set of bamboo and horsehair brushes, black ink stick, red ink paste in porcelain jar, and a carved mixing stone.

Brian Burhoe has been writing professionally since 1971. His stories have appeared in "World of If Magazine," "Fantastic Stories" and "Best Science Fiction Stories of the Year." He cooks in Atlantic Coast restaurants and he is a graduate of the Holland College Culinary Course and holds a Canadian Culinary Federation chef's certificate.