茶の湯 in サンフランシスコ ・ Japanese Tea Ceremony を San Franciscoで

表千家四方社中の茶の湯ブログ Japanese Tea Ceremony Blog for Shikata Shachu – Omotesenke

おせち・Osechi

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お正月といえばおせち料理ですが、それぞれのお料理には「隠れた意味」がありますね。

  • 海老 – 腰が曲がるまで長生きするようにと、長寿を祈る。
  • ぶり – 成長とともに名前が変わる出世魚。これにあやかり出世を願う。
  • 数の子 – ニシンの卵。卵が多いので子宝・子孫繁栄を願う。
  • 田作 – イワシの幼魚。文字通り「田を作る」ことに由来。田植えの肥料に乾燥したイワシが使われていたところから、豊作を願う。
  • 昆布巻き – 「養老昆布=よろこぶ」で不老長寿とお祝いの縁起物。また「子生(こぶ)」の字をあてて、子孫繁栄を願うもの。
  • 煮しめ – たくさんの野菜を一緒に煮るので、家族が仲良く一緒に結ばれるの意。
  • 黒豆 – 一年まめに働き、まめに暮らせるようにと邪気を払い、無病息災を願う。
  • 紅白かまぼこ – 半円状の形が初日の出に似ている。紅白で縁起がよく、赤は魔除け、白は神聖の意。
  • 伊達巻き – 巻物に似ていることから文化の発展、学問や習い事の成就を願う。
  • 栗きんとん – 漢字で金団と書き、金の団子つまり金銀財宝を意味し、金運を呼ぶ縁起物。
  • 紅白なます– 紅白の色は水引を表し、平安と平和を願う縁起物。
  • レンコン – たくさんの穴があることから将来の見通しがいい(先見性がある)という縁起を担いだ食べ物。

Osechi” is a collective name for a variety of New Year’s holiday dishes.  Each item has a “hidden” meaning.

  • Ebi – Prawns.  Symbolizing long life (so you can live until you are so old your waist is bent).
  • Buri – Yellowtails.  In Japanese, the fish changes its name as it grows (mojako as a spawn, and then wakashiinadawarasa, and finally buri once it reaches 80 cm).  Hamachi is often used to refer to inada or warasa grown in a farm.  So, it is associated with promotions.
  • Kazunoko – Herring roe.  Kazu means “number” and ko means “child,” symbolizing fertility and prosperity for posterity.
  • Tazukuri – Baby sardines. Literally means “making rice paddies.”  Eaten in prayer for good harvest because dried sardines were used as fertilizers for rice planting.
  • Kobumaki – Kelp rolls.  A play on words – taking “kobu” from the word yorokobu (happiness).  Also, associated with child (ko) birth (bu).
  • Nishime – Assorted stewed vegetables.  Symbolizing a united family (bringing different members together).
  • Kuromame – Black beans. Mame also means “diligent.” thus symbolizing gainful work (and health that you need for working).
  • Ko’uhaku Kamaboko – Red & white fish cake.  The half-circle shape symbolizes the rising sun.  The color red wards off evils, and the color white symbolizes holiness.
  • Datemaki – Sweetened omelet roll. Resembles a scroll, a symbol of culture, scholarship and learning.
  • Kurikinton – When written in Chinese characters, it means “gold dumplings,” thus symbolizing wealth and fortune.
  • Ko’uhaku namasu – Shredded da’ikon and carrots in vinegar.  Red and white colors resembles “mizuhiki” – decorative strings on a money envelope used in Japan for festive occasions.
  • Renkon – Lotus roots.  It is full of holes, and symbolizes “seeing into the future.”

Originally posted January 7, 2015

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