Kagami mochi

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, literally mirror rice cake, is a traditional Japanese New Year decoration. It usually consists of twoKōjien dictionary. Various Japanese dictionaries, including the Kōjien, testify that the kagami mochi has two layers of mochi. Three or more layers is not mentioned. round mochi (rice cakes), the smaller placed atop the larger, and a daidai (a Japanese bitter orange) with an attached leaf on top. In addition, it may have a sheet of konbu and a skewer of dried persimmons under the mochi. It sits on a stand called a over a sheet called a , which is supposed to ward off fires from the house for the following years. Sheets of paper called folded into lightning shapes similar to those seen on sumo wrestler's belts are also attached.

The kagami mochi first appeared in the Muromachi period (14th-16th century). The name kagami ("mirror") is said to have originated from its resemblance to an old-fashioned kind of round copper mirror, which also had a religious significance. The reason for it is not clear. Explanations include mochi being a food for sunny days, and...
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