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Role of Kagami-mochi /鏡餅とは

朝市の鏡餅

Kagami-mochi is an intermediate between the Shinto gods and people. Kagami-mochi is offered to the Shinto gods, so it is also called osonae, which means offering, and then eaten by people wishing good luck for a year and sharing gods’ blessing. It is offered to the gods on festive days in Japan. It is a sacred food and there are some origines. Here are three stories about Kagami-mochi.
1.Kagami-mochi literally means “mirror shaped rice cake”. Kagami is 鏡 in Chinese character and means a mirror and mochi is 餅, means rice cake. Ancient bronze mirrors were circular shape and people believed that gods stay in them.

2.Kagami(鏡)was kangamiru(鑑みる) which means to see the things comparing to the good models and standards. Originally people called kangami-mochi, but it changed gradually to kagami-mochi.

3.It is also believed that the round shape of the rice cake represents harmony of a household. Smaller piece is placed on the larger piece. It means the repetition of another happy year.

According to this site, kagami-mochi is said to embody people’s wish and appreciation to the gods. This articule is written based on the site.

The first photo was taken at the Morning Market, where there is a squid pool. It was really gorgeous. Rice, salt and sake are offered to the kagami-mochi and it was decorated with dried squid and long kelp.
朝市の鏡餅2


Recently plastic kagami-mochi is popular and you can open it from the bottom. There are four or six pieces of square packed rice cake inside.
plastic kagami-mochi


There are small sized pieces too.
small kagami


small kagami2

Usually the biggest kagami-mochi is placed in the entry hall, called genkan and smaller ones are placed in each room. They are offered to Toshigami-sama(年神様), the gods of the New Year.
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Akiko

Author:Akiko
Akiko lives in a city next to Hakodate and loves to drive around Hakodate and surrounding area. I hope people who visit or live in the Southwest area of Hokkaido come to love the area, too.
函館の隣町在住で道南エリアのドライブ大好きAkikoです。道南を訪れたり、住んでいる人が土地を好きになってくれたらなぁ、と思います。

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