Shinto: What Is Kagami Mochi? (Rice Offering)

Kagami Mochi is a traditional Japanese offering, rooted in the practice of Shinto. It is an essential element during New Year celebrations.

But what really is this “Mirror of Rice”? Immerse yourself in the heart of an age-old custom that combines spirituality and delicacy.

Together, let's discover the mysteries surrounding Kagami Mochi.

Contents :

1. Definition of the word "Kagami Mochi"

2. Japanese etymology of Kagami Mochi

3. What is Kagami Mochi used for?

4. Spiritual Meaning of a Kagami Mochi

Definition of the word

Definition of the word "Kagami Mochi"

Kagami Mochi is a traditional Japanese symbol, deeply rooted in end-of-year celebrations. This iconic decoration consists of two overlapping rice cakes, carefully wrapped in a white sheet known as Shide.

The size of the first cake exceeds that of the second. The design is often enhanced by the addition of a bitter orange - called daidai - which sits proudly at the top.

Interest in this ritual is not limited to its visual beauty but also extends to its cultural importance.

Indeed, it expresses the richness of Japanese traditions and customs during annual festivals.

In summary, Kagami Mochi is more than just a festive ornament; it embodies the very spirit of secular Japanese traditions during this festive period.

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Japanese etymology of Kagami Mochi

The word "Kagami Mochi" has its origins in two distinct terms. The first, "kagami", translates to mirror. The second, “mochi”, refers to sticky rice cakes made especially for this event.

The shiny appearance of Kagami Mochi is reminiscent of a mirror. This resemblance is not accidental and has strong symbolic importance: it evokes a sacred object used during spiritual rituals.

Thus, the very name of this Japanese culinary tradition takes us back to its deep meaning and its ancestral cultural roots. It is therefore interesting to understand its etymology to better appreciate the richness of Kagami Mochi in all its aspects.

What is Kagami Mochi used for?

What is Kagami Mochi used for?

Kagami Mochi is an essential part of New Year's festivities in Japan. It serves above all as an offering to the Shinto spiritual entities present in each house. Its goal ?

Attract prosperity and happiness for the coming year.

It is also a lucky decoration that protects against harmful or malicious influences during this critical period of annual transition. Strategically positioned, often on a shelf or a familiar altar, the Kagami Mochi watches over the home.

In short, this traditional Japanese ritual combines religious beliefs and popular superstitions to ensure peace and prosperity for all members of the family during the transition to the new year.

Spiritual Meaning of a Kagami Mochi

Spiritual Meaning of a Kagami Mochi

Kagami Mochi, more than a simple decorative and symbolic object, has a deep spiritual connotation. It embodies purification as well as harmony between the natural forces that orchestrate the universe.

The top element of Kagami Mochi is the reflection of the sky. The lower element represents the earth. The care taken in their assembly reflects a primordial cosmic balance to maintain divine balance.

The circular shape of the cakes is not chosen at random. It echoes that of a traditional Japanese mirror called "Yata no Kagami". The latter is revered because of its connection to Amaterasu Ōmikami – the supreme Shinto sun goddess.

In short, Kagami Mochi goes way beyond its simple appearance. It constitutes a tangible representation of a celestial harmony necessary to preserve the balance of the world according to Japanese beliefs.

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Discover the author: Cyril Gendarme

Cyril Gendarme is a writer whose website "The Lucky Door" ("La Porte Du Bonheur" in French, his native language) has become a reference in the field of esotericism. Born in Belgium, Cyril has been attracted to the mysteries of the world since he was a child. When his interest in occultism was awakened, a particular subject caught his attention: lucky charms.

After years of study and in-depth research on esoteric traditions from around the world, Cyril decided to share his knowledge with the public through the internet. In 2019, he launched "The Lucky Door," a website dedicated to exploring lucky charms, magical symbols, and esoteric arts.

The Lucky Door is much more than just a showcase for those curious about magic, divination, or tradition. It is the result of Cyril's passion for researching and understanding the mysteries of the universe. Every piece of information available on the site testifies to his dedication to sharing his knowledge of the most hidden symbols and their unique powers.

In addition to his online work, Cyril regularly organizes workshops and conferences in different countries. His presence on social media is also highly appreciated, where he offers personalized advice and happily answers questions from his community.