The word kaiseki originally meant a simple meal offered by the host before a tea ceremony. Today, the term also refers to a full-course traditional meal often served in a ryokan or hotel. Kaiseki is prepared based on three principles: 1) use seasonal ingredients, 2) make the most of the original taste of the ingredients, and 3) cook with a spirit of courtesy. It values not only the taste but also a sense of season and spiritual integrity. The first dish of the kaiseki dinner I attended in late February was a firefly-squid and bamboo-shoot marinade followed by cherry anthias with butterbur shoot. Japanese people often notice the early signs of spring in kaiseki.