The Knife Ceremony (Ho-Cho Shiki)
Must have a reservation to attend.
Please call 213-687-4055 for more information.
Regular admission price:
Discounted admission price for
Japanese Food Festival attendees:
Japan American National Museum
National Center for the Preservation of Democracy
111 N. Central Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012
Sunday, November 4, 2012, 10:00am - 11:00am
Shijo Style Knife Ceremony
The Knife Ceremony
The Knife Ceremony was created as a way to pray for a rich harvest - peace and harmony as well. It served as a way to show gratitude for all the ingredients that would be sliced by a knife. A chef conducting this ceremony performs each step very solemnly as he is preparing a religious offering. The ceremony has concise rules on how to use a knife and requires the chef to hold the knife in the right hand while holding chopsticks in the left one. It is strictly prohibited to touch anything by hand.
Because the Knife Ceremony was created during the Heian period (794-1185) when China heavily influenced Japanese culture, the ideology of Confucius has a strong presence in the ceremony. For instance, the big wooden cutting board embodies time and space. Its center represents the sun while the four corners of the cutting board indicate the four seasons. Each knife movement is also differentiated to embody either yin or yang. The Knife Ceremony evolved into a prestigious food ceremony for the Imperial Court and for aristocrats; commonly performed at ceremonial occasions.