NEW YEAR FEAST
|Osechi is usually packaged in a
multitiered box called juubako
|I'm sorry, this is a half-eaten
Usually osechi ryori called just "osechi"
Osechi is a traditional special dish which is eaten during the first three days of January.
The food is usually contained in two to five beautiful juubako lacquer ware boxes
which can be stacked( a nest of boxes). It means "to stack happiness".(In recent years, we have osechi contained in one box)
There are many kinds of arrangements of dishes from one area to another,
but most of the parts are the same traditionally.
Because most of the osechi dishes have some special meanings to bring good luck,
and since they are plays on words or puns or imaginative meanings, they should be included.
|baika ninjin||plum flower made of carrot||A plum flower surely bears a fruit|
|dashimaki-tamago||rolled omelette||Yellow color symbolize financial success, because
in the Edo era the color of money of
highest denomination was gold => yellow.
And also the same meaning with "Datemaki".
|datemaki||rolled omelette||*Datemaki look lile a scroll for calligraphic works and paintings, so people
wish success in education and progress of culture.
*The word date came from a name of famous daimyo.
He was smart and cool, and liked this food.
So, date-maki symbolize these qualities.
|ebi||shrimp||Symbol of long life, because of its crooked back|
|see ⇒ tatsukuri|
|Gobioid/Goby|| Goby's face looks like an Okina mask of Noh play.
Okina is a symbol for long life.
|kachiguri||dried chestnut||Kachi means victory or to win.|
|kamaboko||steamed fish- paste cake
on a board
|Usually used in a red/pink and white combination.
Redish color is symbol of avoiding evil/sun rising, and
white is a symbol of purity.
The color combination implies a happy cerebration.
It also symbolizes daybreak because of its shape.
Herring in Japanese is "Nishin/鰊"and it's the same sound with
Nishin/二親 which means parents.
So, herring roe is a symbol of the prosperity of one's
escendants and treasure all children..
|kobu-maki||rolled kelp or seaweed||symbol of joy, because kobu is partly
the homonym of yorokobu which means joy
||paste of sweet
and sweet potato
|Wishes good business and financial luck..
The color of chestnuts is the same
as the money in Edo era.
Kinton in kanji is "金団"
|kuromame||black soybean||Symbol of diligence and good health ,
becaise mame ( bean in Japanese)
is the homonym of mame which means
diligence and good health in Japanese.
Work outside in good health and suntan like the clour of kuromame.
|Kuwai||Arrowhead||Kuwai is a water plant.
Harvest when they shoot out buds
(between late November and late December)
"Shoot out buds" in Japanese is "Me ga deru"
and has the same sound as the ward for
"show signs of success".
radish and carrot
|The combination of the colour white in the radish
and the color red in the carrot
implies a happy cerebration.
They look like "MIZUHIKI"usedin happy cerebration.
|nishime||a kind of dry
of vegetables and
|ex. gobo or burdock symbolizes energy because it root firmly underground..
renkon or lotus root implies hope of happiness in the future, because we
can see something through the holes.
Shiitake or Japanese mushrooms symbolize
a career because it looks like a hat for samurai.
|Satoimo||A parent rootstock (Oyaimo 親芋）has many young taro(Koimo/子芋）|
|renkon or lotus root implies hope of
happiness in the future, because we can
see the future through holes.
|takenoko||bamboo shoot||symbol of force|
|Symbol of great crops of rice, because ta is the homonym
of rice field and tsukuri means tsukuru which means make
or raise in Japanese.
A long time ago, dried young sardines were used as manure to
enrich the rice field, so it was very important fish for rice and
became a symbol of gettng good harvest and industriousness.
|Tokobushi|| Another name is "Fukudame" which means