Traditional Japanese New Year Cuisine

Osechi cuisine is a traditional Japanese New Year food which has its beginnings in the Heian Period. It is loaded with symbolism and contents vary from prefecture to prefecture in Japan.

Sakude sensei is a Japanese teacher at JOI, and lives in Osaka. She introduces this wonderfully colorful and cultural Japanese cuisine or Washoku in this Japanese learner's blog.

Please read through this to learn Kanji and vocabulary and listen to the video to hear it spoken in natural Japanese.

Osechi Ryouri





おせち料理はお正月に食べる料理のことを言います。 重箱に入っており、それぞれの料理に意味があります。私が好きなのは、なます、昆布巻きです。なますは紅白でおめでたい意味、昆布巻きは健康長寿の意味があります。





To listen to this blog, please watch our Youtube video.



おせち料理(りょうり)はお正月(しょうがつ)に食(た)べる料理(りょうり)のことを言(い)います。 重箱(じゅうばこ)に入(はい)っており、それぞれの料理(りょうり)に意味(いみ)があります。私(わたし)が好(す)きなのは、なます、昆布(こぶ)巻(ま)きです。なますは紅白(こうはく)でおめでたい意味(いみ)、昆布(こぶ)巻(ま)きは健康長寿(けんこうちょうじゅ)の意味(いみ)があります。

そして、料理(りょうり)の内容(ないよう)は地域(ちいき)によって異(こと)なります。最近(さいきん)では洋風(ようふう)おせち、中華風(ちゅうかふう)おせち、メタボ対策(たいさく)おせち、和菓子(わがし)おせちなどユニークなおせち料理(りょうり)もあります。 子供(こども)のときはおせち料理(りょうり)があまり好(す)きではありませんでしたが、大人(おとな)になるとおいしく感(かんじ)じるようになり、お正月(しょうがつ)におせち料理(りょうり)がないと寂(さみ)しく感(かん)じます。



Osechi Ryouri

Do you know what Osechi Ryouri (Japanese New Year cuisine) is ? Have you ever eaten it ?

Osechi Ryouri is what we call the food we eat during Japanese New Year food. It is inside a multi-tiered food box, and each of the food has a meaning. The “Namasu” (a dish of raw fish and vegetables seasoned in vinegar), is red and white and means congratulations. The “Kombu Maki” (sliced dried herring or other fish wrapped in konbu seaweed and boiled) stands for health and longevity.

The contents of the food differ according to the area. And there are also Western cuisine style Osechi, Chinese cuisine Osechi, Osechi for preventing metabolic syndrome, Osechi made from sweets and other such unique Osechi Ryouri.

When I was a kid, I didn't like Osechi Ryouri much, but when I became an adult I began to feel that it was delicious, if there is no Osechi during New Year, I feel lonesome.

Recently, the number of families that make their own Osechi Ryouri has been declining. I usually go back to my hometown during New Year's, so I don't make it but I would like to learn how to. I'd like to make it with my daughters one day.

Do you have any special food for the New Year season in your country ?.

おめでたい a matter for congratulation

健康長寿(けんこうちょうじゅ)health and longevity

によって  according to

メタボ対策(たいさく)preventing metabolic syndrome

実家(じっか) one's parents' home [house]


Hajimemashite! I am Sakude Emi. I live in Osaka, Japan's second largest city, with my daughters, son and my Brazilian husband. My hobby is cooking, especially dishes from around the world.

My husband and I often talk about how much misunderstanding there is in the world between individuals and between nations. We feel it is these misunderstandings that block smooth human relations. I would like to do what I can to unravel these knots of misunderstanding.

If there is anything you'd like to ask me, even if it's not connected to learning Japanese, please feel free. Let's do our best together. Ganbarou

Start 3 Trial FlexLessons for only $9 !