What is Japanese New Year "Osechi" lunchbox?

Matome Foods
Friday, December 23, 2016 at 18:00
In Japan, there is a tradition that we prepare”Osechi” (お節) lunchbox and eat it at the beginning of the New Year.
Osechi lunchbox is full of superb cuisine handmade Japanese omelet, boiled black beans and reds-white-colored Kamaboko(かまぼこ) and so on.

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VOGUE JAPAN@voguejp
和洋中の料理が詰まったリーガロイヤルホテル東京のおせち料理で新年の幕開けを。
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Even though Osechi is such a popular culture in Japan, even many of Japanese people don’t exactly know where was this culture come from.



When Osechi culture started?


Osechi culture is said be start at Yayoi era. (B.C300 to A.D300)
At that time, when people harvested rice, they perform rituals and festivals to thank God at every end of four seasons.
They presented offering to God what they harvested. (節供)

And this custom still survives and so is the kanji of 節(供)
And it is called お節 now.

So Osechi used to be an offering to God to celebrate new season and to Thank God.
Yayoi era
Yayoi era

How Osechi looks like?


Osechi is usually packed within “Jubako”(重箱) which means Nest of Box.
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【45%OFF】重箱 6.5寸重 黒てまり(内黒)2段
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The number of layers was originally four. These days, three-layered Jubako is also quite common.
Each layer of Jubako has originally had a different meaning.

The top layer

Osech Top Layer
Osech Top Layer

explanation on top layer

Second Layer

Osechi Second Layer
Osechi Second Layer

Explanation on second layer

Third Layer

Osechi Third Layer
Osechi Third Layer

Explanation on Third Layer

Fourth Layer

Osechi Fourth Layer
Osechi Fourth Layer

Explanation on 4th Layer

Matome of this Article

As you see now, Osechi represents Japanese tradition and belief toward Gods.
These days young Japanese don’t care much about history, but the tradition of Osechi itself still lives on.

If you got a chance to visit Japan at New Year time, and if you would like to try Japanese traditional thing I suggest you try Osechi yourself!!

You can find at any department store just like, Takashimaya department store, or Isetan department store.


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