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What is Osechi means?

Osechi is name of Japanese traditional New Year’s dish.

Many Japanese think eating Osechi in new years is very important in order to pass on Japanese tradition to new generation. However, not many people know the real meaning of Osechi. Each dishes for Osechi has meaning. I would like to introduce them this time.


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What is the History of Osechi?

Refer to this site:http://yajibee.com/post-263/


It is said to be Osechi came from China. Chinese people cerebrate seasonal event five days a year and it calls “Sechie”. They serve special food, “Sechiku” for that event. “Sechiku” is the origin of Osechi in Japan.



Why Osechi Dishes Are Set in Tiered Lacquer Boxes?


It is said to be that Japanese people started to set Osechi in tiered lacquer boxes after Meiji period. There are some reasons for it and the biggest reason is people pray that a lot of good luck pile like this boxes. There is not that much spaces to put dishes since they prepare a lot of food, so that is why people decided to use tiered lacquer boxes would be another reason. There is also a reason that to prevent food from flies in order to put a lid.

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The Meaning of Each Dish

Refer to this site:http://yajibee.com/post-263/

I would like to introduce the meaning of each dish in Osechi.


Shrimp…stands for living longer since it has long bear and bended back


Kinton…Kinton is mashed sweet potatoes with sweetened chestnuts.It represent money.

Kamaboko…It is boiled fish paste. Red part represents to protect from evil, and white part represents innocence.


Konjak…Since it is common to tied konjak, it represents great luck for marriage tie and wishing for family happiness.


Herring Roe…It represents wishing prosperity of descendants.


Refer to this site:http://yajibee.com/post-263/


Gomame…Gomame is dried young anchovies. It means hoping for huge harvest of the five grains.


Bamboo Shoot…It represents that children’s growth since it grows fast.


Ikura…Ikura is salmon roe. People started to put Ikura to make Osechi more fancy after the last half of Showa period. It means wish for great blessed with children.

Refer to this site:http://yajibee.com/post-263/


Datemaki…Datemaki is a fish omlet rolled up and cut into thick slices. It represents culture and studies since it looks like scroll.


Black Beans…The black color is a charm to protect against evils. Black Beans is called “Mame” in Japanese and “Mame” also means hardworking, diligent, and painstaking.


Konbumaki…Konbumaki is simmered konbu rolls. The name “Konbu” reminds “Glad” and “Happy” in Japanese, so it represents that wish for great blessed with children and for leaning things a lot.


Lotus Root…since it has lots of holes, it represents that hoping for future success.


Osechi for New Generation

Refer to this site:http://yajibee.com/post-263/


People usually eat Osechi three days in a low from new years in Japan. However, it is kind of hard to keep eating same food for three days especially for kids. There are some workout plans to get over this repetitious.


1.Fusion Osechi Cuisine

Original new style Osechi is now created at Italian and French restaurants in Japan.


2.Add Rural Ingredients

Osechi turns little bit different than regular one to just add some rural ingredients into Osechi, such as stewed pork cubes from Okinawa.


3.Original Osechi


Many people cook their own original Osechi lately in order to make it changed and tried not to eat same Osechi three days in a low.


Refer to this site:http://yajibee.com/post-263/


Now you know the meaning of each ingredient in Osechi and history of Osechi in Japan. We should inherit the tradition to new generation and all over the world.


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