一月〈睦月〉January / Mutsuki


一日

年が明けると除夜の鐘が街に鳴り響き、それが鳴り終わる頃に近所の氏神様へ出向き一年の福徳を祈ります。五穀豊穣や無病息災、商売繁盛や学業成就等、京都の神社はそのご利益も多岐にわたり、近年では全国から人々が集まり、それぞれ叶えたい事を胸に抱き、お目当ての神社に出かけ、それぞれの願い事を神に伝えます。

1st

At the very dawn of the New Year, as the peal of the Joya No Kane – the Shinto temple bells – reverberates through the city, people pour into Kyoto’s streets and alleys. At the 108th and final toll they reach their local shrine and fall to silent prayer. The view of religion in Japan is expansive and fundamentally different from that of the West, but the same in its relationship to feelings of gratitude and hope that the fortunes of one’s world will serve to protect and provide for all going forward. Each temple has its own character and qualities. Some are oriented more toward the harvest, others toward business. Others may be aligned with beneficence toward seafaring or educational hopes. Today Kyoto’s shrines attract visitors from far and wide, each carrying a heartfelt, humble entreaty for fate to smile upon them.

一日~三日

1st to 3rd

京都では竈の事を『おくどさん』と呼びますが、元旦の早朝にはこのおくどさんに火打石で切火をして火を入れ、邪気を払って神々に捧げるための雑煮を作り、三が日ではその残りを朝食に頂きます。雑煮の内容は全国各地様々ですが、京都では、白味噌汁に丸餅と頭芋、薄く輪切りにした祝い大根を入れるのが一般的です。

On the morning of January 1st Kyoto homes make use of a traditional earthen hearth usually called the kamado – though Kyoto dwellers have a special honorific name, O-Kudosan – to cook that special holiday’s rice, rice being among the most sacred gifts of Earth’s bounty. They fire the hearth in the ancient way, with flint, an act that’s said to scare off the “spirit of evil”. They make a traditional soup called O-zoni (the “O” being a designation of special honor), which has variously interpreted ingredients but always includes soft, chewy o-mochi, pounded rice cakes. The zoni is an offering to the inhabitants of the “world beyond”, first and foremost, but it is consumed over the next three breakfasts by the family.

Variations in o-zoni include the ingredients, size and shape of the mochi, and so on, depending on region. In Kyoto round mochi is the thing, along with kashira imo, a large type of taro root, and thinly-sliced daikon, a heavy white radish, whose disks in the mix are symbolic of good fortune.


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