Thursday, December 08, 2005

 

The Year of the Dog Is Coming

I just got my kagami mochi for the upcoming year of the dog. Of course, I got my Christmas tree too, but didn't feel like the season's decorations were complete without my rice cakes.



Wikipedia gives a nice description of the kagami mochi.
The two mochi discs are variously said to symbolize the going and coming years[2], the human heart[2], "yin" and "yang", or the moon and the sun[3]. The "daidai", whose name means "generations"[4], is said to symbolize the continuation of a family from generation to generation[1].
Traditionally the kagami mochi was placed in various locations throughout the house[3]. Nowadays it is usually placed in a household Shinto altar, or kamidana. It has also been placed in the tokonoma, a small decorated alcove in the main room of the home.
Contemporary kagami mochi are often pre-moulded into the shape of stacked discs and sold in plastic packages in the supermarket. A mikan or a plastic imitation daidai are often substituted for the original daidai.

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