Osechi /おせち/ Traditional Japanese New Year piled up Square Boxes

Updated: Jan 24, 2021

Most of traditional things change from time to time. Osechi Cooking is definitely one of them. These photos are modern style Japanese Osechi Box but some of old traditions are still in a box.

O-sechi, The original term of Osechi means season or significant period. New Year's Day was one of the seasonal big festivals in the Imperial Court in Kyoto.

Originally, it was taboo to cook meals, except cooking ZOUNI. Osechi was made by the close of the previous year,

The food in Osechi box has Changed from time to time. In Japan, The food floor is located in a whole basement at all Department Stores which sale huge selection of Meal,Food and food related product. . I believe that one of the reason Osechi food has improved is from Department Store promotion.

Department Stores( The big shopping center like building in which many product are sold at each floor, The each floor has different division and Theme}

Because of the World Situation now. I have been waiting for visiting Japan. so I share the photo of Basement food floor in Tokyo, Japan. I visited Japan 2 years ago. It was end of September and Autumn Season in Japan. These photos are all Seasonal foods. I am going to introduce Dessert section in the future.

Matsutake 松茸 (Japanese Matutake Mushroom)

The name tags say (CAD $ 1 = JPY ¥80.77 / JPY ¥10,000円:=CAD $ 123.82)

Japan(Iwate 岩手 prefecture From ¥12,000円to¥15,000円),(Hokkaidou 北海道,¥18,000円), (USA, The Top Right ¥10,300円) It is imported from USA and The amount is more than double. but Japanese Matsutake is still much expensive than USA one. Japanese Matsutake has full of flavor. It is very strong smell which reminds me Arrival of Autumn.

Zuwai-Gani 紅ズワイガニ ( Red Zuwai Crab) and Sanma 秋刀魚 (Pacific Saury)

As the part of fish name 秋means Autumn refer to the season of Pacific Saury.

Suji-Ko 筋子(Salmon Roe)

Ikura is Japanese name of Salmon Roe. so Why it say SUJI-KO? All pieces are still together. The stage before Ikuras get separate. Suji means one line, Ko means Child. The labels say that it is soy sauce marinade.

Grapeブドウ: No Seed Green Muscat ( Product Name: Shine Muscat), No Seed Red Grape (Product name: Queenina)

As We (Japanese) call Department Store's War, Each Store promotes new product very fast. Really! It changes quickly from time to time, season to season for each event in Japan. If you visit Japan in the future I highly recommend you to go there. Please ready to see many food and shoppers as well. It is super fun for people who love cooking. It is me!

Special Meaning of Each Part

I picked up some of traditional food to explain the meaning for Good Luck.

  • Kuro-Mame (黒豆, くろまめ), Black Soybeans. symbolizing a wish for health and Longevity. The colour Black is the symbol of repelling evil. Able to work hard, like to get suntan.

  • Kazu no Ko(数の子, かずのこ),Herring Roe. means KAZU "number" and KO"child." It symbolizes a wish to be gifted with many children.

  • Ebi (海老, えび), cooked prawns. It symbolizes a wish for a long-life, Live long even having beard and bent back like shrimp has.

  • Subasu(酢蓮),Marinade Loutus. Because It has many wholes which we can see through the wholes. It symbolizes a wish for havinng good eyesight.

  • Kuri-Kinton(栗金団、くりきんとん), Cooked sweet chestnuts, It is half paste.like Peanut and Almond Crunch spread. Chestnuts related to Victory in Japanese word.

There are many of others.

Modern Style Osechi Box has western, European food. Example: Slice of Roast Beef, Pate, foie Gras, Cheese. It will be changed continuously.