On Kagamimochi

There seem to be many ways Kagamimochi(鏡餅), a round rice cake offered to a diety, is arranged on New Year’s Day depending on regions or households. This custom originated from a Shinto ritual, not a household, and came to be practiced among the folk. This custom is a deed for people to express gratitude to Sun God, Earth God and Sea God , enshrine them getting them together as one and “appreciate in advance” the favor they will receive from the three gods in the new year.


  • offer 捧げる
  • diety 神
  • region 地域
  • household 家庭
  • originate 始まる
  • practice 行う
  • the folk 一般の人々
  • deed 行為
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち
  • appreciate ありがたく思う
  • in advance 事前に
  • favor 好意

It is a secret ritual leading to God to express gratitude for what has not been realized yet. You can understand it well if you think about relationships with other people. For example, if your child were always asking you for an expensive present every time he/she sees you, what would you think? Parents will make such a judgement considering the child’s life attitude in everyday life. What if your child always takes care of you and says appreciative words? You would feel like helping the child. In the same way, you don’t have to pray to God for your detailed wishes. All you have to do is express gratitude to God in your daily lives first. If you do so, all things that you need will be given.

  • secret ritual 秘儀
  • realize 実現する
  • relationships 人間関係
  • expensive 高価な
  • every time S+V SがVするたびに
  • judgement 判断
  • life attitude 生活態度
  • take care of A Aの世話をする
  • appreciative words 感謝の言葉
  • feel like ~ing 〜したい気がする
  • in the same way 同様に
  • pray 祈る
  • detailed 細かい

During the first three days of the new year, shinto shrines all over Japan are crowded with people who try to use God, wishing “I want this! “, “I want you to achieve this!” Do you think God wants to be present at such a place? If you offer to God only gratitude for being kept alive, your thought leads to God much more effectively. God knows what you’re worrying about without your explaining it. And you, needless to say, don’t have to say your name or address to God. The very idea of trying to tell God about your problem in detail proves that you don’t believe in God. It is rude to the Almighty God.

  • be crowded with A Aで混雑している
  • achieve 叶える
  • present その場にいる
  • keep A alive Aを生かしておく
  • effectively 効果的に
  • needless to say 言うまでもなく
  • in detail 詳しく
  • prove 証明する
  • almighty 全知全能の

An orange put on the top of Kagamimochi stands for Sun God. I feel it used to be a kaki, a Japanese persimmon, but it’s OK if you use an orange instead. Omochi(お餅) is what the favor of Mother earth is compressed into.  It also can be said to be what the holy energy of Amaterasuohomikami(天照太御神)is comressed into. It is better that the shape of mochi is round like a mirror. And you can’t miss Konbu kelp, which stands for the favor of sea and Sea God. If you prepare these three, you can make a great Kagamimochi, which represents the traits of the deities, and call the holy energy into your house.

  • stand for A Aを表わす
  • instead 代わりに
  • compress 圧縮する
  • trait 特色

This year too

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

Thank you so much for keeping us alive.


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