Tamio Spiegel

Tamio Spiegel is a bi-racial Japanese American native New Yorker. He is an independent consultant who has advised businesses in Asia and the US on manufacturing, product development, and cross-Pacific trading. He is a past Executive Director of The Gohan Society, a New York City-based non-profit organization that promotes Japanese food and food culture. He has written on arts and current affairs for NY NichibeiAsianWeek, and Nikkei Heritage.

Updated October 2017

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Nikkei Heritage

Oshogatsu - A Japanese Tradition in America

When I met Julie, we shared a desire to keep our house open to our friends and community as much as possible. 1984 was our first oshogatsu as a couple. Her family did nishime. I had never heard of it before. I couldn’t imagine New Year’s without ozoni. Julie was obsessed with kuromame and chestnuts in a sweet sauce. What about those bowtie seaweed things? No self-respecting Japanese-American celebration is complete without cha siu, Chinese roast pork. We could do this.

We lived neared Manhattan’s Chinatown. We sourced some ingredients there and journeyed to various Korean and ...

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