Meanwhile, as we recently had a new family moving into the neighborhood who came around, introduced themselves and handed over a small gift. As you might have come to know from reading my blog or just knowing Japan in general, gifts are frequent and very important here in Japan . I also realized how closely me and Mrs. Sunshine associated the quality of the gifts with the people who gave them. As we moved into a new built little community and were one of the first people actually moving into our little house, quite a few families has come around and introduced themselves, each bringing a small gift.
When talking with Mrs. Sunshine recently about who lived in which house, we realized that we didn’t really remember faces and names that well, but very clearly remembered who had given us what and that was the hook for us to remember the family. "Oh, yeah, that was they who gave us those nice cookies, it was a good gift so they seemed really nice" or "wasn't it that family who gave us that really crappy towel set? They can’t have that much common sense" or the favorite, the family that gave us the exactly same thing that we ourselves gave out when we moved in "They seemed really nice and that they picked the same cake as us for gifts showed that they knew exactly what is suitable to give as a gift, they have excellent taste!".
Interestingly enough, it's seems like the old tradition of giving buckwheat noodles ("soba") have basically died out, so don't go around handing those out unless you're moving in to a geriatric ward.