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10 individual mochi included inside the simulated kagami mochi display. Ing: rice cake, water, high fructose, corn syrup, citric acid
Kagami mochi (鏡餅, Kagami mochi), literally mirror rice cake, is a traditional Japanese New Year decoration. It usually consists of two round mochi (rice cakes), the smaller placed atop the larger, and a daidai (a Japanese bitter orange) with an attached leaf on top. Further to this, it may have a sheet of konbu and a skewer of dried persimmons under the mochi. It sits on a stand called a sanpō (三宝, sanpō) over a sheet called a shihōbeni (四方紅, shihōbeni), which is supposed to ward off fires from the house for the following years. Sheets of paper called gohei (御幣, gohei) folded into lightning shapes similar to those seen on sumo wrestler's belts are also attached.
The kagami mochi first appeared in the Muromachi period (14th-16th century). The name kagami ("mirror") is said to have originated from its resemblance to an old-fashioned kind of round copper mirror, which also had a religious significance. The reason for it is not clear. Explanations include mochi being a food for sunny days, the 'spirit' of the rice plant being found in the mochi, and the mochi being a food which gives strength.
The two mochi discs are variously said to symbolize the going and coming years... The "daidai", whose name means "generations", is said to symbolize the continuation of a family from generation to generation.