Premodern Japanese kashi were an important part of courtier food culture, and the broad kashi category encompassed fruits, nuts, and confections, which alongside mochi were offered up to monarchs, children, and deities alike. This article explores the types of Heian-period (794–1185) kashi and mochi through their inclusion in an elite banquet celebrating a baby reaching their fiftieth day of life. The monarch, queen consort, and the powerful nobility of the Heian court converged on the residential palace to celebrate and were feted with food and drink, including mochi purchased in the city marketplace and a particular array of sweets. This makes the fiftieth-day banquet a useful lens through which to understand not only one aspect of premodern Japanese celebration but also how the nobility used food to demonstrate power and new status through conspicuous consumption.

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