Osechi is the traditional Japanese meal for the new year, and many Japanese people eat Osechi at the beginning of every new year.
Traditionally, Osechi was homemade dish.
However, in recent years, most families haven,t made Osechi.
They buy ready-made Osechi at the supermarket or on the internet.
It takes time and effort to make Osechi, so the arrival of ready-made Osechi was favorably received.
Today, the market of ready-made Osechi has been rapidly expanding and competition has been escalating.
Accordingly, various kinds of Osechi have appeared one after the other.
Osechi has become a gorgeous meal.
As a result, definition of Osechi has completely changed from the traditional one.
This change has occurred rapidly in recent years.
I fear this change, because it means that Japanese people destroy their traditional food culture by themselves.
First of all, I will give a simple explanation of traditional Japanese Osechi.
Osechi consists of various kinds of traditional Japanese dishes, and these dishes are set in a lacquer box.
This set of dishes is called Osechi.
The typical dishes of Osechi are black beans, herring roe, sweet rolled omelet, boiled root vegetables, candied sardines, candied chestnut with sweet potatoes and boiled shrimp.
Each dish in Osechi has a meaning, such as good health, long life, good harvest and so on.
The taste of traditional dishes is plain compare to Ramen, curry rice, and hamburg steak, so present generation may not find it very tasty.
As mentioned avobe, today’s ready-made Osechi has completely changed from traditional Osechi.
An outstanding change has occurred.
Many foreign dishes have become widely used in Osech, for example, gratin, Foie gras, smoked salmon, assorted cheese, beef stew, Chinese dumpling, roast beef and more.
Needless to say, these are not traditional Japanese dishes.
But these foreign dishes have wide used without hesitation.
This is because these are gorgeous in appearance and their taste suits modern Japanese people.
This pattern is often covered by the media: “Osechi has evolved further”.
I don’t think so. It isn’t evolution, it is cultural destruction.
This kind of Osechi instantly became popular in Japan and it means that Japanese people destroy traditional culture themselves.
Japanese people’s lack of interest in their culture is reflected in the ready-made Osechi today.
Thanks to the ready-made Osechi, the definition of Osechi has changed so much.
And there will probably be more and more of this “foreign Osechi” in the future. Many Japanese people hope that will happen.
They don’t like traditional Osechi, but they have any pride of traditional Osechi.
What they say is inconsistent with what they do.
I don’t understand it at all.
I don’t mean to deny the benefits of ready-made Osechi.
There are lots of ready-made Osechi available in the traditional style and these make me feel like the Japanese new year is coming.
Actually, I buy traditional style, ready-made Osechi every year, and I really enjoy it.
By the way, last year, I pre-ordered and bought traditional ready-made Osechi and it had been supervised by a long-established Japanese inn “KAGAYA”.
This was a beautiful traditional Japanese Osechi.
The idea that “Western culture is superior and Japanese culture is behind” promoted the modernization of Japan.
However, from now on, we Japanese should pay attention to the excellence of our traditional culture.
Many Japanese people like popular “Western Osechi”, but I can’t agree with them.
“Traditional style ready-made Osechi by KAGAYA”
Black beans with edible gold leaf
Sweet rolled omlet
Candied chestnut with sweet potatoes
Firefly squid with citron pepper
Scallop mantle with salted and fermented bonito intestines
Yellow tail teriyaki
Smoked scallop eye with fish sauce
Simmered Noto Pork
Carrot and white radish salad
Pickled blackthroat seaperch
Blackthroat seaperch fritter