Kadomatsu 門松 (Pine decoration)
“Kadomatsu” 【門松/かどまつ】 is one of the “Oshogatsu” related culture.
It is made from pine, bamboo, ume and there are some reasons to decorate “Kadomatu”.
Today about “Kadomatsu“.
This is a kind of decoration which we put it on the sides of entrance on “Oshogatsu”
It’s made of pine, bamboo, “Ume” (a kind of flower) and straw festoon with decorated paper.
In the past, Japanese people thought that god dwells on top of trees.
From this belief, “Kadomatsu” is an object which a depicts a god.
By putting this as a decoration, we welcome a god named “Toshigami” which comes to every house on “Oshogatu”.
Why Pine, Bamboo and “Ume” is used to make “Kadomatsu”?
There is a word “Shouchikubai” and in Kanji we write it like this.
Each character means (from the left to right) pine, bamboo, Ume.
In Japan, these three are considered to bring forth good fortune. Why is that the case?
The pine is a plant which is evergreen all year long.
→Symbol for a long life
It grows straight without curving itself
→Symbol for stability, growth and success
The first flower to bloom in spring (around Feb)
→Symbols of high spirits
(These beliefs came from China)
You may sometimes see “Shouchikubai” at “Sushi” restaurants.
During the Edo period, a Sushi restaurant concerned that it may be sometimes
embarrassing to order medium or the very best Sushi if you are conscious.
So the owner changed the indication to “Shouchikubai”.
(The rank differs of “Shouchikubai” at each restaurant)
Picture 🙁 from top Pine, Bamboo, Ume)