Omochi no Kimochi /Omochinokimochi (Feeling of Rice Cake) おもちのきもち


Author : Hiroshi Kagakui  かがくいひろし

Published : 2005

Personal recommendation : 3-5 years old and up

One of the traditional event in Japan is New Years. Unlike New Years in New York, we Japanese traditionally cerebrate the new years with solemnity.  As a result, we go to Shrine on New Years day to pray for good health/happiness throughout the year which has just come. 

We don’t see it much often any more especially in urban city in Japan, but some people still traditionally cerebrate the new year by offering special rice cake to the god during New Years Holiday.  This rice cake is called “Kagamimochi”.  Kagamimochi is basically a traditional Japanese New Year decoration made by rice cake. It is consists of two layers of round rice cake (mochi) topped with a mandarin.  (Thus, one can think of this shape as flat “Snowman” or “marshmallow man” (from movie Ghost Busters)   

Well, the story is based on this Kagamimochi’s feeling as well as question about all the people’s fuss about new years cerebration. 

The story begins with his feeling how rice cake’s in general (not limited to Kagamimochi) life has been full of torture. Start from being pounded by hammer to make themselves sticky/soft, followed by rolled by wood rod to further be flattened, break into smaller pieces by hand and formed into round shape and many of topping are sprinkled before serving (red beans or sometimes even fermented Natto beans!) 

As Mr. Kagamimochi becomes fed up with such, he decided to run away from the god’s altar. After running so far away from his place, he got tired and hungry. He then realized how people had enjoyed Rice cake and became wondering what it would taste like.  Mr. Kagamimochi decided to take a bite on his own hand and found Rice Cake (Himself) was very tasty.  He wanted to eat more and decided to bend himself backward (way back) so that he can take a bite from his toe/bottom.   As he devour, he realized he got stuck as “Donut Shape” and could not get back to his former shape.  Soon after, people passing by on the street saw this donut-shaped Kagamimochi and make fun of its weird/unique shape. End of story.

Well, I personally liked this book for a few reasons (1) all the kids love Hiroshi Kagakui’s drawing (2) teaches some lesson/tradition about Japan’s new years and (3) story is funny to kids (especially when he was forming into donut shape).  I believe this is good read for lots of different points of view.  

You can purchase this book here. 広告はこちら


おもちのきもち (講談社の創作絵本) [ 加岳井 広 ]
価格:1650円(税込、送料無料) (2021/11/5時点)

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