- The Kagami Mochi and its meaning.
- Where do we place the decoration?
- How do we eat Kagami Mochi?
- More Mochi and New Year related articles
The Kagami Mochi and its meaning.
Kagami mochi is used as a traditional Japanese new year’s decoration. It is usually made up of two layers of donut-shaped mochi (rice cake) topped with a mandarin.
‘Kagami’ means ‘mirror’ in Japanese, and it is often said that its shape resembles a bronze mirror which was considered a treasure by the ancient Japanese. It is believed that by double decking such noble items, your fortune will also double. The mandarin on top is called dai-dai and it is supposed to give hope and prosperity to the following descendants.
Kagami mochi is usually decorated with decorative Japanese paper, ferns, and dried kelp. However, decorations vary from region to region and family to family.
Where do we place the decoration?
According to Japan’s Kagami Mochi Association, placing kagami mochi in many areas of your house is recommended. Each location such as the kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom have a corresponding deity.
You can find different sizes ranging from extra-large to small kagami mochi everywhere in Japan. Japanese supermarkets sell kagami mochi decoration sets during December. Here is a you tube link showing how to properly assemble the decorations.
How do we eat Kagami Mochi?
It is also believed that the kami’s power resides in kagami mochi. To obtain the power of these deities during the New Year, people cook it with soup called Ozōni and Oshiruko.
When preparing the kagami-mochi for the soup, Japanese people don’t use knives to cut the rice-cakes, but break them with wooden hammers. This procedure is called,”kagami biraki” (“opening the mirror”).. It depends on the location, but usually “kagami-biraki” is held on January 11th.
Nowadays, when you buy it at the supermarket, the two layers of mochi are packed in plastic to prevent spoilage.
More Mochi and New Year related articles