What is Kagami Mochi ? | Commentary by Japanese webmaster | Common in Japan #53


Hello World !

This is SHINTA+, Japanese writer.


What is ‘Kagami Mochi’ ??

I want to know it !

This page is
  • To introduce ‘Kagami Mochi’ well known in Japan
  • To clear your question about it

I wrote this article to introduce ‘Kagami Mochi’, as popular Japanese donut restaurant and to clear your question about it.

I would like to explain about the topic with mainly two parts.

  • Introduction of ‘Kagami Mochi’ in Japan
  • Deep Diving with Q & A style
    • History
    • Display period
    • Kagami Biraki
    • Orange decoration, etc

In first part, you can get basic information about ‘Kagami Mochi’ in Japan.

And next, I would like to introduce more details, with style of answering questions. You can get information with cherry pick style, in stead of reading long article.

I hope you will have proper information about ‘Kagami Mochi’ in Japan, after reading this page.

What is ‘Kagami Mochi’ ?

‘Kagami-Mochi’ is the item to celebrate new year in Japan.

‘Kagami’ means ‘mirror’ and ‘Mochi’ means ‘rice cake’. The shape looks like mirror in old era. It’s said that large rice cake symbolizes ’Sun’ and smaller does ’Moon’.

It is said that ‘Kagami Mochi’ with ‘Sun’ and ‘moon’ gives vitality to people in starting of new year in Japan.

Introduction of Kagami Mochi
  • Item to celebrate new year in Japan
  • Made by two rice cakes
  • Large one as ‘Sun’ and small one as ‘Moon’
  • Giving vitality to people

Deep Diving into Kagami Mochi in Japan

I would like to introduce more information about Kagami Mochi in Japan, in this paragraph with Q & A style, so that you can access information easily.

Please kindly open items what you want to know.


I hope you can clear your question in this part.

It’s said that Kagami Mochi has more than 1000 years of history in Japan.

It’s not clear when people make celebration with Kagami-Mochi however, it’s already described in literatures in Heian Era (794-1185).

This custom is continued until today, while a lot of western cultures were coming to Japan and lifestyles of Japanese was changed.

Reference : kagamimochi.jp

It’s not officially fixed, but in general, ‘Kagami Mochi’ is displayed as offering to god, from middle of December to beginning of January.

The custom is slightly different in each area of Japan. However, people start to display ‘Kagami Mochi’ from 13th. December as starting of ‘Matsu-no-uchi’ period.

And ‘Kagami Mochi’ is withdrawn in 4th. January (in Kyoto), or 11th. January (Tokyo area), or 20th. January (Osaka area).

Reference : chintai.net

‘Kagami-Biraki’ is the ceremony to withdraw ‘Kagami Mochi’ after the period to display it as offering to god, in beginning of January.

After withdrawal of ‘Kagami Mochi’, it will be divided into pieces by hammer, to eat them. In breaking of ‘Kagami Mochi’, edged tools are not used, with respecting of god.

Reference : zenbeihan webpage

Kagami Mochi is available in various places in Japan, however, it is mainly in 4th quarter of the year, as it is very seasonable products.

  • Supermarkets
  • Department stores
  • Home Center
  • Rice brokers
  • Japanese style confectionary stores

Author’s research in Yokohama city

Old Japanese people thought that orange is the symbol of prosperity of descendants, because orange make fruits long time in same tree.

Reference : allabout webpage


That’s all today. How was the content today ?
I Hope this article help you to clear your question about ‘Kagami Mochi’ in Japan.


I hope you have clear understanding of ‘Kagami Mochi’ !

Thank you for your reading !