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What is Kagamimochi? The Japanese New Year Decoration

 2016/12/15 Japanese Culture   87 Views


What is Kagamimochi?

In Japan, we are prepare to decorate for New Year to pray for god.

On of decoration item, we use mirror rice cake that is called “Kagamimochi”

It usually consist of two different size rice cake (mochi) like snowman.

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source: http://corgismile.com

Consistution of Kagamimochi and means

Like that, smaller place on top of larger one. and top of smaller cake, round shape Japanese orange is placed.

Under the rice cakes, sheet that is called “Shihobeni” You may see similar shape of paper decoration at shrine.

Shihoubeni has mean of praying for the direction of heaven and earth.

To use Shihoubeni, we pray for prosperity.

Traditionally  kagamimochi has been placed in various locations throughout the house, but nowadays , we place it on Shinto alter.



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Why mirror rice cake is Kagamimochi?

You may wondering why Kagamimochi is translated to “mirror rice cake”.

In Japanese language, “Kangamirru’ (鑑みる)means “considering” and  Japanese people believe that God stay inside of mirror,

Therefore Kangamiru means take something for a model to accomplish better.

And Kangamiru plus mochi (rice cake) combined and spoken with provincial accent.


source: http://www.kagamimochi.jp

How long Kagamimochi will be placed?

Usually, Kagamimochi is eaten on 11th January. This day is called “Kagami biraki” means open slice rice cake.

This ceremony has mean that we take bless of God to eat mochi.

Most of Japanese people use this mochi for miso soup or sweet azuki soup.

Recently kagami are often pre-moulded into the shape of stacked discs and we use it conveniently.





Only New Year Season, you can buy this kagamimochi at supermarket. Of course it is packed with plastic film and you can eat it.

Kagamimochi has been placed to pray for god and through eating it, we take power and bless of god.

If you have interest, let go to supermarket and place it  on your desk!

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