What is Osechi
Japan.....a country of beautiful foods


As families celebrate christmas together all over the world, it is japanese tradition to celebrate the start of the new year together. It is a time when folks take a break from the hustle to visit temples, to relax at home, or to go out to town with friends.
There are many special new year's traditions passed on from generation to generation and one of them is to eat Osechi. Osechi is written using the kanji character setsu, meaning chapter or section and therefore, Osechi represents the beginning of the year. The japanese place great importance on various ceremonies which represent the changes of season, growth of a child, etc. So the japanese eat Osechi to give thanks and to wish for happiness in the yeart to come.
The delicately prepared Osechi includes specially prepared seafood, beans, eggs, etc. and are placed into layers of boxes. The variety of Osechi foods is also very high in nutrition and shows the wise knowledge of the older generation who ate a little bit of everything to get a balanced diet.

Each Osechi item is named with words representing fortune, luck and happiness. The following are common Osechi items and description. Let's all eat Osechi this New Years' and welcome in the fortune!

When cooked in the traditional method, these black beans had many wrinkles on the surface. They are made with the hopes that folks will live a long life-till they have many wrinkles.

Kobu is seaweed and maki means roll. These seaweed rolls are thought as foods that bring in happiness and fortune as the word kobu is phonetically identical as part of the word yorokobu - which means happiness.

Otafuku is written with the kanji characters meaning many and fortune/luck. These large black beans are made with the wish for more fortune to come.

These are fish cooked with a sweet tasteDThe word Tatsukuri means to make(tsukuri) fields(ta). in the olden days, folks used to scatter the fish in fields with the hopes for a bountiful harvest.

Chestnuts are mixed with a sweet potato pasta, making a deliciious golden mixture Kin means gold and ton means lump so let's eat this and feel rich. These are the basic Osechi foods. Take a look at the beautiful boxes, enjoy the wonderful foods and wish for a year full of happiness and fortune!
(Lisa and KazumasaIida)