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4255 Main St.
Philadelphia, PA 19127
(267) 297 8341
BEHIND THE NAME
Delicate but strong, durable but seasonal, beautiful but humble, native yet cultivated…these are the characteristics of Yamato nadeshiko (or simply, nadeshiko), a flower most widely known as dianthus. A regular part of our Southeastern PA spring and summer landscape, nadeshiko grows wild in Japan. The other half of its Latin name, Yamato, originally referred to a province in Japan, and later as an ancient name for Japan as a whole. Today, yamato has come to encompass all things Japanese. However, when combined as yamatonadeshiko, it signifies Japan’s ideal woman: feminine, chaste, supportive, devoted (to her husband), and despite being delicate and beautiful on the outside, is strong and capable on the inside, carrying the weight of the family’s and household’s needs.
During the Second World War, this ideal was promoted as a kind of national propaganda, instilling the belief that women should be gentle and delicate, yet able to endure all the pain and poverty of life for her soldier-husband (and the country) to win the war. This meant she should always be ready to fight with halberds (or takeyari, a spear made of bamboo used when you don’t have a halberd) and to die any time for her country, or to keep her chastity.
And though on the surface, it might seem nothing more than an intriguing history lesson, it’s actually a fitting storyline for Chef Moon, whose professional journey as a female chef and restaurateur has occasionally required all of the characteristics described above.
Of course, we aren’t trying to stir anything up (well, unless it’s in our kitchen) or make grand socio-political statements. Rather, we celebrate the beauty of all things Japanese—its history, art and food. And, its collective quest for harmony—which we hope you’ll find here.