Food – Japan

Food ways: Ozoni

Matthew: On New Years my family eats this soup called Ozoni. Each vegetable in the soup is supposed to bring you some type of good luck.

Me: Do you know the ingredients in the soup?

Matthew: Mochi, Carrots, Daikon (pickled Japanese radish), Shitake Mushrooms, Karbu (seaweed), and Watercress

Me: Do you know what each vegetable symbolizes?

Matthew: No, I’m not sure. I believe they symbolize different fields of luck like making money, long life, but I’m not sure what each vegetable symbolizes.

Ozoni can also be found in Japanese Cooking: Contemporary and Traditional. (See Annotation).

I do agree with Matthew’s interpretation of this Japanese recipe. It was interesting to hear Matthew say that this dish was only eaten on New Years day.  I would imagine that the purpose of this limited time frame for consumption would be for the purpose of celebrating new beginnings in one’s life. To me, this soup is a symbolization of an optimistic outlook for your future, which should be eaten on a holiday that celebrates novelty, luck, and hope.


Schinner, Miyoko Nishimoto. Japanese Cooking: Contemporary and Traditional. Summertown, TN: Book Publishing Co., 1999. pp. 68-71.