Chances are you cannot guess what is in this box…
If you live in Japan you probably will be able to guess correctly, otherwise the chances are very slim. The culture behind the contents of the box is, as far as I am aware, unique to Japan. The contents of the box are so exceptionally unique I think you might be surprised.
Have you guessed?
This box is a Kotobuki Bako; a keepsake box for the part of the umbilical cord that women who birth in Japan receive on the day they get discharged from hospital. The part of the umbilical cord that is kept is quite small. It is treated by the staff at the hospital to preserve it and in a ceremony called heso-no-o it is wrapped in gauze cloth and placed in a specially crafted box. I have a Kotobuki Bako for all three of my children. They are stored like treasure as that’s what they are; a piece of the lifeline that so deeply connected me and my children while they were still in the womb. I contemplated sharing a photo of the contents, but it is so uniquely unique I couldn’t bring myself to! So the box will have to do!
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