Hassun 八寸

Hassun 八寸 is usually the second course in a kaiseki 懐石 meal. It is named after the dish upon which the course is generally served: ‘hassun’ literally means ‘8 sun’, based on a Japanese unit of measure, 1 sun is approximately 3cms or 1.2 inches, and the hassun is traditionally a 25cms square, four-sided, plain cedar tray.

The hassun is an essential kaiseki course because it sets the seasonal theme of the meal.

Traditionally, it is a simple dish upon which two foods are placed in opposite corners of the tray: something from the ocean, and something from the land, which together represent all foods, and which must signify the freshness of the particular season during which it is served.