What is Osechi Ryori Anyways?

Hi there.


What is Osechi Ryori Anyways?

Osechi ryori is traditional food for the new year holiday which used to be for the royals but now it’s for everyone.

Most of food is prepared by drying, pickling, or cooking with lots of salt to avoid using fire when god gets around, but also for giving housewives some rest since osechi ryori considerably lasts long. So people can manage with the leftover during the holiday.

However, fresh food is often used today such as roast beef or even sashimi. Well, it’s just something we couldn’t do in the old days and now we can.

Why is Osechi So Expensive?

If you have seen osechi ryori on ads, you may find it quite pricey like 20K yen (about 200 US). Well, I heard making osechi ryori takes lots of hassle and near the year end, people probably don’t have much time to spend on preparation. I suppose that pays the price? Apparently it is the best business season for those food companies. My mom used to make just easy dishes just to follow tradition and add up whatever food like karaage. Heh heh.

Meanings of Osechi Ryori

Traditionally dishes have meanings like these below.

Kuro mame (Black beans)

For wishing long life and well-being, also working hard (mame in Japanese) until you get tanned like black beans.

Kazunoko (herring eggs)

For wishing prosperity of descendants.

Kamaboko (fish cake)

For good luck with its rising-sun shape and red color (to avoid bad luck) and white (for purity)

Datemaki (egg roll)

For having good education and wisdom with its makimono (scroll) shape.

Kurikinton (sweetened chestnut paste)

Good luck for financial fortune with golden color.

Tai (grilled snapper)

For hapiness and success (medeTAI in Japanese).

Unagi (grilled eel)

By a Japanese term ‘unagi nobori’ (skyrocket).

Kobumaki (simmered rolled kombu seaweed)

For YoroKOBU (happiness)

Takenoko (simmered bamboo shoot)

For wishing growth of children and success in work like bamboo shoot that grows upright fast.


Well, these mostly seem like silly jokes but they mean it. Heh heh.


How do you find it? May or may not have, it’s always good to know stuff like this for a better understanding huh?

See you around!

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