cakes were eaten on auspicious occasions such as New Year's
day and other festivals. However, sealed packages of rice
cake are found all round the year as preserved food today.
Let us tell you briefly about the origin and development
of rice cakes in our culture.
of rice cake
Rice was introduced in Japan some 2500 years ago. It is
said that the first rice was reddish and glutinous which
was suitable for grice cakeh. Rice cakes were offered to
gods in ancient times. The custom making rice cakes at the
end of year and eating on New Year's Day seemed to start
in Japan in the 12th century.
of rice cake in Japan
There are many theories about the origin of rice cake. One
said in his book that the shape of Mochi, rice cake stands
for the full moon whose circle signifies perfect harmony
and fulfillment. We think our ancestors who worshipped the
sun and the moon made a rice cake round hope of happiness
Mochi rice cake
Kagami Mochi rice cake, which is composed of two pieces
of rice cake, is said to have an origin from the bronze
mirror, one of the three divine symbols in old times in
Japan, or from the human heart. There is a saying that people
hoped to spend a new year as happily and safely as the old
one, just like the two rice cakes representing the sun and
moon one on the top of the other. Today we place Kagami
Mochi at Tokonoma, alcove, which appeared in a house built
around the 16th century.
of rice cake
Glutinous rice from which rice cakes are made consists of
starch 76.8%,water 15.6%, protein 6.8%, and a little fat
and ash. One hundred gram of cooked rice contains 118 kilocalories
and that of rice cake 235 kilocalories. This means rice
cake is more energy effective, and many marathon runners
and soccer players who need much stamina and staying power
eat rice cakes before a race or game.