Kagami Mochi

Marty CohenB+W, Food Photography, Japanese New Year Celebration 201210 Comments

Kagami Mochi

Kagami Mochi

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Kagami Mochi is a traditional Japanese New Year decoration. It is typically composed of two flat, round mochi (rice) cakes (a small one sitting on top of a slightly larger one) shaped like kagami (“an old-fashioned kind of round copper mirror”) and a daidai (a Japanese bitter orange) with an attached leaf on top. The roundness of the mochi is said to symbolize fulfillment within the family. The stacking of the pieces are variously said to symbolize the going and coming years, the accumulation for another year, the human heart,”yin” and “yang”, or the moon and the sun. It’s not eaten immediately, but broken open after the new year begins on a special day called Kagami Biraki, which usually falls on January 11th.

This image was taken this January 1, 2012 at our family’s annual New Year celebration in Los Angeles. I have previously posted food images from the 2011 New Year celebration and will be posting more food images from this year’s event. Many friends and family come to enjoy the traditional Japanese New Year food that is cooked by my wife Cathleen’s family.

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The photo was taken with a Canon EOS 40D, EF17-40mm f/4L lens, 1/60 sec at f/4, ISO 200, indirect flash lighting, on SanDisk Extreme IV Digital Film.

10 Comments on “Kagami Mochi”

  1. the second look confirmed the first look…really beautiful, Marty. wouldn’t have the same impact if ‘developed’ in color.

  2. Beauty in simplicity. Very Zen! Love the B&W (saw it in color and despite loving the color orange, the color one didn’t grab me either). Also love the wood grain pattern that mirrors the roundness of the mocha and the orange. Thanks for the background info too, I learned something!

  3. Hopefully we will see a bunch of images from this year’s event! The visual imagery of the event is very rich.

  4. It looks beautiful in b/w! Can’t see the cracks.
    Your New Year’s photos are wonderful. Thanks for making visual memories for the family.

    1. Thanks Etsu… It’s fun for me to take the photos. I started out working with this one in color, but it just didn’t grab me until I tried black & white. It was great being there with you.

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