Issho-mochi: The 1.8kg of rice cake ritual for the 1st year celebration

Issho (1 sho):一升 is a volume ratio and equals to 1.8 kg of rice cake.
To celebrate the 1st year birthday of their babies, Japanese people prepare a round rice cake (mochi) of 1.8 kg known as "issho-mochi".

The baby carries the issho-mochi on one's back and tries to walk or to crawl. 

As the volume "issho (一升)" sounds simmilar to the word "for life (一生)", by letting the baby to carry issho-mochi, they wish that he or she will be fed for life. Also this ritual embraces the wish of the baby's physical and mental strength in his or her own life. 

As it was hard to get a proper issho-mochi, I prepared 1kg of rice cakes as well as 0.8 kg of rice and stuffed them in a baby sack.

In some regions, fortune telling is involved at this ritual. They put an abacus, some note money and a calligraphy brush at the goal. Once the baby grabs abacus, it suggests that he or she will be a successful merchant. If the money is grabbed, it means he or she will be rich. In the case of brush, it is a sign that the baby will be intelligent.
 Apart from the money and a brush, we put a computer key board and a rice scoop. The former idea is from Mr. husband who wishes his daughter to succeed his career as a computer programmer. The latter is my wish that she may love cooking.

And then.....

She made an ordinary start with some struggles and tears.
Then she grabbed the brush at the goal. 

Eventually she took all of her rice cakes out from the sack and offered to the guests and her parents. 

I think she won't suffer from a hunger for life, at least.

No comments:

Post a Comment