Kagami Mochi

mochi, art & photo by N. Garvin

Kagami (mirror) mochi (rice cake) is made and placed on an altar right after Christmas when the festive Japanese season begins. The mandarin orange symbolizes a family’s generational continuity; the mochi disks, the passage of years. During the season’s Kagami Biraki (opening the mirror), the now brittle mochi is broken and shared to both celebrate the new year and prevent illness and accidents. Kagami mochi is one of many meaningful traditions in Japan.