Osechi Ryouri ~A feast at A New Year’s Day in Japan~ | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

Osechi Ryouri ~A feast at A New Year’s Day in Japan~

By Guidable Writers Jan 1, 2017

This post is also available in: Chinese (Simplified) Japanese Spanish Chinese (Traditional)

《What is Osechi Ryouri?》

We have a traditional feast at A New Year’s Day called “Osechi Ryouri” in Japan. Apart from a feast at Christmas, the dishes are very Japanese, and we have a special box called “Juubako” to be packed with various kinds of food. “Osechi Ryouri” has a long history back to hundreds of years. “Osechi” has an original meaning; a year has five terms (Sechi) according to ancient China, and we have followed their custom to have special feast at the end of each term. In early times, the special feast was served only among royal families, and has spread among common people. ”Osechi“ which falls on A New Year’s Eve has become the most important turn of the terms of the five, and people have come to cook “Osechi Ryouri” on the day with adding some wishes to it. Let us PICK UP some of them to be eaten with our EYES!


(Reference: http://www.irasutoya.com/2012/12/blog-post_6459.html )


《What are the dishes?》

#1: Iwai-zakana sannshu (three kinds of celebrating dishes)

・Kuromame: simmered black soy beans

→ Mame means soy beans which is a symbol of health.


・Kazunoko: salted herring roe

→ Plenty of roes of herring is a symbol of prosperity.


・Tadukuri: teriyaki small dried sardines

→ It symbolizes good harvest.


(References : http://www.irasutoya.com/2013/11/blog-post_7289.html




#2: Kuchitori (sweet delicacies)

・Kamaboko: fish cake

→ It is a symbol of sunrise. Kamaboko are usually served with red (pink) & white color; red one symbolizes auspiciousness, and white one symbolizes holiness.


・Datemaki: sweet (rolled) omlet

→ It symbolizes precious things because Japanese people have a custom to roll precious things since long time ago.


・Kurikinntonn: mashed sweet potatoes with chestnuts

→ It symbolizes gold (treasure) because of its color. Chestnuts are symbolized as victory as well.


・Kobumaki: simmered kon(n)bu rolls

→ Japanese “yorokobu” means rejoice; kobu can be counted in as an auspicious one.


(References : http://www.irasutoya.com/2015/05/blog-post_62.html





#3: Sunomono (vinegared food)

・Kouhaku Namasu: Vinegared carrots & white radish and raw fish

→ Red (pink) and white symbolizes auspiciousness.


(Reference: http://www.irasutoya.com/2015/11/blog-post_220.html )


#4: Yakimono (Grilled food)

・Ebi: Shrimp

→ Grilled shrimp symbolizes longevity because it looks like an old man/woman whose waist is bent.


(Reference: http://www.irasutoya.com/2014/05/blog-post_612.html )


#5: Nimono (Simmered food)

・Nishime / Nimono: Satoimo (taros) symbolizes prosperity, rennkonn (lotus roots) which has holes symbolizes foreseeing the future, and kuwai (water chestnuts) symbolizes a social success because of its big bud.


(Reference: http://www.irasutoya.com/2014/05/blog-post_7959.html )


《Take out Osechi Ryouri?》

Although recipes of “Osechi Ryouri” have been handed from generation to generation, the number of people cook by themselves seems to have decreased nowadays. Because of the situation above, department stores, supermarkets, and convenience stores have been competing in the market of “Osechi Ryouri” by supplying delicious and beautiful ones. You can check those with their catalogues at their sites, and try to surround “Juubako”(special box) with full of delicious and meaningful food.